Howdy Houston (and fellow Texans and Techsans)!
We had quite an amazing turnout at #WelcomeToTechsas. I wanted to throw my own two cents in as a recap to this amazing event!
- Nearly 200 people showed up to attend this free event by the community, for the community.
— Matt Keas (@matthiasak)— Matt Keas (@matthiasak)
- We had over 20 instructors and volunteers who helped put this together, introduce code to beginners, and mentor more advanced courses.
— Joshua Rieken (@tehhax)— Jeff Reichman (@fileunderjeff)— Rich Winley (@richwinley)— Rose Nolen (@nolensan)— Rose Nolen (@nolensan)
- Organizers put together an awesome “Playbook” that attendees can refer to on the topics covered (http://techsas-playbook.herokuapp.com/) during the week leading up the event.
— Matt Keas (@matthiasak)— melissaruth (@melissaruth)
- Kids classes! We pulled together some people all the way from Austin, and 15 kids had a blast learning some intro to code. We support our kids and the educational value of technology in schools. 🙂
- We rocked the swag with t-shirts, bags, mugs, and stationary.
— Josephine Tran (@JosephineTran)
- Delicious, tasty coffee was provided by Katz coffee!
— Matt Keas (@matthiasak)
- The day was organized into a loose and simple schedule:
- 9 – 10 AM – Registration, Coffee + Welcomes + Sponsors
- 10 – 11 AM – Main presentation + group forming
- 11 – 12 PM -Learning with groups
- 12 – 1 PM – Lunch
- 1 – 4 PM – Learning and coding with groups
- And we split up into two main groups:
- Beginners – “know very little code or want to learn” (~12 groups of 8-10 people)
- Advanced – “know some code and want to learn more” (~3 groups of 12-20 people)
- The Beginners split into groups and occupied the main conference room at HTC (next to all the swag and coffee and good stuff). The Advanced crews went upstairs and split into 3 groups, occupying 3 mid-sized conference rooms.
- As someone who led one of the advanced rooms, we managed to cover a lot of content on CSS and Responsive Web Design, including how many grid and scaffolding CSS approaches are done, and how to build your own responsive grid framework.
- After lunch, we continued instruction with the advanced crews. Everyone was so engaged with the talks that we just continued instruction all the way to 4pm!
— Gika Rector (@gikarector)
- We had a great happy hour at Little Woodrow’s for volunteers and instructors, and got to hang out with some folks that we are lucky to have here in Houston, TX 🙂
Overall we really felt like we accomplished a small feat in the grand scheme of widening the tech-scene’s audience in Houston, and we brought together people from industry, creative, tech, and other communities to learn something really cool and valuable in today’s economy.— Jerry Peruchini (@peruchini)
— Peter Barth (@peterbarth)
— Rich Winley (@richwinley)
I want to sign off with one last and really important note about how we ought to lead our community forward. I corresponded with one of the attendants who had been learning some code on his own. Here’s something he wrote:
PS. – I enjoyed Techsas very much and found that I was downplaying my skills. I had no idea that I actually know alot more than thought I did, compared to others. I was actually able to keep up in that advanced class. 🙂
Insecurity is a major thing that happens to everyone, and especially in the world of tech. There’s always so much to learn and familiarize yourself with. We have to grow as human beings and not just technologists. It’s something I like to call “imposter syndrome”. You feel like an imposter when you walk into a room and have something to share or something to learn, and you feel as if others don’t believe that you belong in the room. Make sure to empathize and connect with people from all walks of life.
This is a rather human element I wish to help lead Houston’s tech scene towards, and I really think it is important to realize that everyone is at an event like “Welcome to Techsas” to just learn something new and be inspired.
Some of the students at Techsas were technologists who had been working with SAP, testing software for big oil and research companies, Masters in Computer Science, artists and web-designers, musicians and DJ’s, marketing and branding gurus, etc. The amazing part is that all of these people enjoyed learning about our beautiful world of code. They learned a little about CSS Animations and breaking down complex movement patterns. This is a level playing-field where everyone can teach something. Always remember that — no one knows everything! 🙂
With that said, I’ll leave everyone with this little piece of code that a student from The Iron Yard, Clarke Harris, made. He is a graphic designer and a darn good one!
Thank you everyone, again, for coming out to Techsas and I look forward to crossing paths with you again!