The Women Who Code meetup and hack night yesterday was very lively! I look forward to going again and also going to CodeChix events if I can manage it. I think there were about 50 people there, of fairly diverse backgrounds and coding in many languages. I saw several people I knew like Hilz and Adina and Amy, but most were people I’ve never met, not people who show up at conferences or usual techie events, lots of recent comp sci grads with jobs at startups. There were a few people who are company founders and just interested in meeting programmers and hanging out with us, a few people just beginning to learn to code, and several people who told their way-back-when COBOL and BASIC stories. I gave away a huge stack of geekfeminism.org stickers.
The meetup was at the Blazing Cloud office in the Native Sons building which is an amazingly cool building, but not accessible, so I’m glad I managed it on crutches instead of bringing my wheelchair, which even if I’d been able to get it into the building, would not have worked in the tiny crowded office with people sitting all over the floor. Blazing Cloud looked like a company focused on giving programming classes mostly Ruby and other web dev stuff. I talked with a few people at the event who complained about their CS departments only teaching Java and C and being super … well… computer-sciencey, without teaching anything they wanted to know for building web or phone apps. So it was a good match between the host for the event and the people who showed up!
I had some pizza, beer, and cupcakes as I fiddled around with vim, vundle, Supertab, and Gundo (which Oblomovka had been showing me earlier) and setting up things with ExpandDrive so I can work on my VM dev environment *from my Mac* instead of ssh-ing into the VM. I think I’m getting to like folding in vim. Hilz explained her whole emacs setup to me which is similar and I think was called tramp; basically a thing so she can edit her remote files from her normal setup. While I don’t *much* mind hauling my .vimrc after me onto every server, vim bundles look extremely cool and I like the idea that I could keep it all in just one or two places (ie my laptop and maybe my main server in case I don’t have my laptop and want to work from somewhere else.)
Then I got totally distracted talking with Jesse and Judy who were starting to make a fun app with Ruby (which I’ve only tried once at a She’s Geeky workshop). Judy is making something to tag and search Starcraft VODs. Then we got gossiping about Noisebridge which she had just been to for a Ruby class and ended up staying all night learning how to use the Cupcake makerbots.
It was a lot of fun and even if it stays such a short event I recommend it. I think it will inevitably spawn some all day hackmeets though since no one wanted to leave or stop working on their projects 1 hour into it!! Actually, I would like to invite all the Women Who Code and CodeChix people to Noisebridge, which is a fantastic hackerspace open 24/7 (with an accessible bathroom and an elevator) and to the upcoming Hackmeet unconference.