Learning Freak

Programming Learning Journey

Django Girls Cracow & How It All Started

/ Category: Web and Mobile Development

In November 2014 I took part in the Django Girls workshop held in Cracow, Poland. It was my first encounter with programming and at the same time the most exciting and inspirational one so far. I knew nothing about programming and never heard about Django. But after participating in the one-day programming workshop, I took the bait. That's how my programming adventure started.

Application

At that time, I didn't look for programming courses actively. My friend took part in the Django Girls Berlin workshop and she decided to co-organize one in my hometown. She sounded enthusiastic about her Django experience and I also wanted to give it a try. As the seats were limited, the first step was an application form with a few questions about motivation and experience in general (no programming experience was required). Then a few weeks of waiting for the results, immense happiness after receiving a positive answer and preparation for the big day. At least mentally, as all I needed was a laptop and its charger. Everything else you think participants may need, such as special software, tutorials, a lot of coffee, chocolate, cupcakes, balloons and stickers were provided by the organizers.



Chocolate Treats

Django Girls Cracow. Photographer: Bartosz Pawlik

Organisation

The evening before the workshop, we met for a 2-hour "installation party" and to get to know each other. The next day, from early morning till late evening, was spent on learning, programming and networking (and eating). We worked in small groups of 3 or 4 participants and an experienced instructor. Our goal for the day was to create our own website. Tools, support and resources were given by the Django Girls community.

What I have learned

Some HTML, CSS, Python and Django, as we used them all to create our websites, following the Django Girls tutorial. We also learned Git, deployed the website on Heroku and pushed our code to GitHub. Pretty impressive achievement for someone who had never programmed before.

On the positive side

The workshop didn't make me a master of Django, Python or CSS, but I've gained something more important: the certitude that I'm able to create things using modern technologies.



Now is better than never

Django Girls Cracow. Photographer: Bartosz Pawlik

Django Girls events are much more than just following the tutorial. Although the tutorial and its second part are great, and you can follow the same steps at home, I'd highly recommend you participate in the workshop. It's the people and the atmosphere really that are the workshop's greatest assets. You don't feel it when working on your own. I met awesome people who put their heart and soul into teaching and motivating us, and who inspired us to look for knowledge after the worshop. Thanks to them, this blog exists.

If you've never heard about the Django Girls community, check out their website. There are several workshops being organized worldwide in the nearest months.

It's worth mentioning that Django Girls events are organized by volunteers who spent their time and effort to make it all happen. If you are interested in bringing Django Girls to your city, check this site.

Have you taken part in the Django Girls workshop? Would you recommend it to others?

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