Code Newbies Austin

16:08 - Right after I got back from NYC in September, I started attending the Austin chapter of Code Newbie’s local Meetups. I’ve really enjoyed the podcasts, and the prospect of hanging out with other learners was significantly less intimidating than some of the other dev meetups in the area; at least I knew that I wouldn’t be totally lost in the conversation.

Because of that little confidence boost, I felt comfortable going to my first Women Who Code Meetup a few weeks later and met a couple of pretty kickass ladies. I now look forward to these events, which do a lot to both stimulate my brain and to feed my desire for social interaction beyond what I can get at home or at work. I love my fiance, and my co-workers, but because I’ve been trying to immerse myself in development and code, conversations feel limited because all I really want to talk about is duck-typing or SaaS or whatever topic I’ve been most recently introduced to.

And sometimes beer and coffee. But mostly I’d rather drink them while talking about Ruby.

Some of our Meetups literally consist of everyone getting together and working on their own projects in the same place. These usually go one of two ways: either it is a silent study group where everyone is motivated to work by the presence of other people working, or it becomes a social event where you maybe don’t get all that much coding done, but you get a lift to your spirits by talking to someone else about your project (and theirs of course!) and bonding over the frustration of that one test that you just can’t seem to get to pass. You help each other, or you at least commiserate, which is very often all the help you need to keep you going.

So if you’re reading this, and you’re starting on your coding journey, and you’re really starved for peer to peer interactions, let this serve as my total endorsement for local Meetups as a motivational tool for new developers.

Written on November 7, 2015