This past week has been a whirlwind. I’ve had tons of demands on my time from my personal life, on top of watching the firestorm that has been the Ruby community on Twitter these past few weeks*, and trying to learn ALL THE RUBY for Portland Code School.
I have to say, in a week where community has not been safe for many people*, I have never felt more supported. The men and women who are part of my network of friends who are also in tech have gone above and beyond to help me learn and grow in the ways that I need to succeed.
This week, I struggled mightily in understanding the chain of events in Ruby. Classes and methods and instance variables had me all tied up in knots, and I was stuck. A friend directed me to the online overview of Chris Pine’s Learn to Program, and I finally started to trace the threads. I’ve now received the updated, paperback version (as well as Eloquent Ruby!) as a birthday present, and I can’t wait to dive in! The next day, another friend lent me her copy of the PickAxe book by Dave Thomas.
Later, while trying to work through the Code Challenge this week from Portland Code School, I got myself all twisted in knots again thinking I needed to use regular expressions. Turns out I didn’t, but as a result of mentioning I had had trouble finding good resources for beginning to use them, three different members of the community started writing blog posts to fill that need. So far, Erin Call, and Cory Kolbeck have both written up some awesome stuff about them, which I still need to carefully read and review!
Then this past weekend, I hacked on stuff with other awesome people for seven hours in various parts of town. To be able to have so much knowledge and such generous giving of time and expertise so readily available is a gift I will never be able to repay.
So thank you.
Thank you to Christie, who founded Women Who Hack, the first technical event I ever attended. Thank you to all the amazing women I met there. Thank you to Melissa and Ian who donated to my fundraiser so I could even go to Code School. Thank you to Liene for studying Python with me and sending me well-timed resources. Thank you to Rachel for her unending kindness and consideration matched with extreme insight. Thank you to Kronda for her WordPress wizardry and generally amazing sense of humor. Thank you to Michelle, the founder of Code Scouts for helping me meet even more amazing people. Thank you to Ashe and Julie and Shanley for doing the blisteringly hard work of carrying us all forward. Thank you to Chuck and Erica for creating Portland Codes School and for helping me find a direction. Thank you to Sam, for inviting me into his home to help me learn. Thank you to Cris for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Thank you to Al for always working to be accountable and give us the best possible class. Thank you to Erin for being the most generous and understanding technical lead, mentor, and friend. And thank you to Emily, who pestered me into attending that first Women Who Hack meeting, and has been there to cheer me on every step of the way, and to walk me through the scary parts.
*I will not be discussing the details of that here. Please go google around if you want to know and don’t already, but be forewarned, massive trigger warning for everything bad you could say to and about sexual assault