Professional development is beneficial for our team members and important to Gaia Resources. Here are some recent examples from our offices across the country. In Perth, Barbara and Tracey attended a day-long She Codes workshop in the Flux Basement.
Tracey, one of our environmental scientists and support specialist writes “She Codes was a great experience overall. I have been learning the basics of Python coding online, but the tutorials were quite dry and heavy on information. In the She Codes workshop we used a practical exercise that was both informative and fun – coding a basic video game where you guide a turtle around a screen chomping on ‘space cabbages’. Having something fun and engaging really made the learning curve less daunting and kept my focus, and each module felt rewarding as my turtle gained new abilities.”
Barbara, one of our spatial analysts said “There was a good choice of subjects – WordPress, Django, Python and HTML with CSS – and plenty of mentors to help out with problems or just to talk to. Each had a badge with their field of expertise so it was easy to find answers. I also have to mention the famous cupcakes – they were delicious ;)”
She Codes founder Kate Kirwin says “This initiative has truly created a space for women to be welcomed into the tech industry, and I’m more than pleased to announce that 40% of the women who were part of the 2019 pilot program have now secured new roles within tech”. With a combination of in-person and virtual mentoring, She Codes Plus provides successful participants with the essentials required to pursue careers in technology-focused roles. Conducted on a part-time basis, participants undertake four unique projects focussed on building web applications using the HTML/CSS, Python, Django and React.
In our Brisbane office, Sophie and Megan attended the Brisbane PyLadies chapter last week. PyLadies is a mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community. Their mission is to promote, educate and advance a diverse Python community through outreach, education, conferences, events and social gatherings. PyLadies also aims to provide a friendly support network for women and a bridge to the larger Python world.
Sophie reports that “Megan and I braved last Thursday’s meeting despite pouring rain – we were both a bit damp, but enthusiastic! We heard Toni Sefton speak on her personal experience getting into coding and Python using a less-than-direct path. She was open about the challenges in overcoming her own doubts; being willing to take a risk on this change in direction in her life despite feeling that she still had too much to learn. One of the key factors in helping her to develop her own skills was having a supportive mentor. This helped to also remind me of the importance of providing that support and encouragement when friends and colleagues show an interest in expanding their knowledge and skills in the future.
Then Bertrand Caron spoke about different approaches to writing modern Python code. While a lot of it was beyond my skill level, he helpfully provided his slides for future reference, and I am sure I will be looking back on these with interest once my skills allow it! It was great to see part of the supportive and motivated coding community learning together.”
Our team are looking out for more opportunities like this to participate and learn, so if you know of other great initiatives like She Codes or PyLadies, then please feel free leave a comment below, connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or email me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.