Last weekend marked the launch of the Ladies Learning Code in Edmonton in which BE3Designs is Community Sponsor of. It was a fantastic turnout with not only a sold-out crowd, but a few extra tickets from a wait list! Ladies Learning Code is unique because we try to pair every four students with one mentor, to ensure each student is getting hands-on technical training at their own comfort level. When we sold-out, we put a call-out to Edmonton looking for additional developers who would be interested in volunteering at the very last minute. It worked! (Because Edmonton is AWESOME!) And we were able to squeeze in some extra students.
Our Lead Instructor for the day was Pearl Chen, who launched the very first LLC HTML/CSS workshop in Toronto and other Chapters across Canada. Pearl flew in from Toronto with Melissa Crnic to welcome Edmonton to the Ladies Learning Code network.
To be honest, I’ve been dreaming about this day for over two years, as I’ve wanted to be part of Ladies Learning Code for a long time. Its been a lot of hard work but July 6th, 2013 was one of the best days of my life. Just to see it all play out – the smiling faces – the energy in the room. It was perfection.
Some of my favorite moments throughout the day:
- – hearing “oohs” and “ahhs” when coding started making sense to the students and the changes they were applying were showing results!
- – witnessing two students high-five when one helped the other with a line of code!
- – having a mother-daughter duo sign-up for the day and seeing daughter help out Mum here and there!
- – getting a *squee* and *dance* after showing a student that they were only missing a closing tag on their page!
- – receiving an email within an hour of the workshop being over from a student who couldn’t possibly have loved the course or enjoyed their day any more!
- – and most of all, meeting the mentors who volunteered their entire day to help me make this happen!
As I mentioned above, the day really couldn’t have happened without the support of our mentors. As Ladies Learning Code in Edmonton continues on, these are truly the people who deserve kudos. I would personally like to thank Jody Bailey, Sally Poulsen, Kasia Gawlak, Jesse Kernaghan, Rachelle Saunders, Tammy Valgardson, Jacqueline Smith, Kevan Morin, Tyler Findlay, Sarah Beck and Patrick Kerby. All of you helped make my dream come true and for that, I am eternally grateful!
To read more about our mentors for the day, check out this blog post on the Ladies Learning Code website.
Another huge thank you is owed to Startup Edmonton. If you had been paying attention since April when we originally announced our first event for July, you’ll know that we experienced a hiccup when our original venue fell through – two weeks before the event. Startup took a chance with me and with Ladies Learning Code and we are so very thankful they did. By donating their Social Space to us, we had more than enough room for our sold-out event, excellent WiFi access and tech equipment, top-of-the-line kitchen and bathroom facilties, not to mention what LLC Operations Manager, Mel, claimed to be the most beautiful space a Ladies Learning Code workshop has taken place in! Cheers to Startup and the possibility of future events!
Our mentors and students enjoyed delicious eats throughout the day from Toast Fine Catering, including muffins, scones, gourmet sandwiches, gluten-free salads, premium juice and organic cane sugar beverages along with a full coffee bar! Considering there wasn’t a crumb left, we think it was a hit and would LOVE to work with Spencer and his team again in the future!
As a celebration for our launch, Minibites Cupcakes created some amazing custom cupcakes that included the Ladies Learning Code hashtag logo! Simply delicious!
We also held an after-party at Mercer Tavern so mentors and attendees could spend some extra time together!