Fortunately, the audience was friendly. This was the fourth meeting of STL Women Who Code, a local meetup for people of all genders that specifically aims to make development and learning more comfortable for women. It is organized by Kianna Reed, Gina Bremehr, Cory Ellerbe, Ladan Kamfar, Nicki Powers, Janelle Morris, and Allison Richardet (who asked me to speak). The group is sponsored by OCI and hosted in their learning center. Several women of various backgrounds attended, plus almost as many men, including Mark Volkmann, a longtime speaker about these topics. Expectations were very high: several people listed their reason for coming as "Jessica's talks are always good."
This one didn't go smoothly. But "good" doesn't mean "according to plan," it means "adapting to circumstances." The TypeScript demo went on, stilted, until halfway through I realized that VS Code had a file open somewhere within node_modules instead of at the top level. Darn it! "New file" often doesn't put the file where I want it. Next time I'll verify that my file is open in the correct place before my demo. The talk went long with this disruption, but a quick poll said people were fine, so we continued and I got to rant about node dependency management and how it's differently-painful from Java's.
Thank you to the organizers (especially Allison) and to OCI for making the meetup possible. It's good to have spaces that are explicitly friendly to women while open to all genders.
This meetup was not recorded, but a video will be available on InfoQ from QCon SF (as of this writing, it hasn't been released to the world yet).
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