#DevTO – Part 1

I attended the second #DevTO session held at Richmond Day. I read a tweet about it and though it might be a good way to network and meet some new people. I knew some of the people involved more than the event itself, so though I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew it would be great.

This particular time, I was the only woman out of 6 people; four organizers, one presenter and me. It was marketed not only to developers specifically, but also to anyone who has an interest or deals with developers. I’ve done a bit of coding in my time and work as an IT Generalist, so I deal with developers, designers and more acting as a translator between the technical types and the business types.

An event like this helps me understand what developers face and perhaps help my clients by asking the right questions the first time, hence saving time and becoming more efficient.

At the first one I attended, I had the privilege of hearing Chris Brooker present Epilogger from the developer’s perspective. I’d seen their short presentation at Code Your Art Out a few days earlier, but it only scratched the surface. In this more intimate setting, I had the chance to ask more questions that helped me understand what difficulties they faced, why certain pieces were chosen and why others weren’t as well as what the process behind it was. It was also helpful to Chris to get feedback from users and developers alike, to provide more functionality and get ideas on how to solve some of the problems that they might have encountered so far.

I’d also recently signed up for #LadiesLearningCode (another post coming on that one soon). I went to their brainstorming session later that week and found that many of the women there were in a similar situation to myself. I thought many of them would probably appreciate something like #DevTO, so when I saw the invites come up for the next one, I started “marrying” the two hashtags together. Next thing I know there is a waiting list for the next #DevTO! I’m not sure how many spaces were filled because of my actions, but it came out of nowhere!

I’ll post more on the next #DevTO tomorrow, but in the meantime, Make sure you follow @DevTO_ca for more updates and register for the event here. At last check, they only have 5 spots left. Did I mention that they provide beer and pizza? 😉

What Would You Like To See Me Write About?

Quill PenAfter reading a post about How To Get More Traffic, I decided to look into at least one thing that I had not yet done and that was ask you, my readers, what you would like to see me write about?

I have such a diverse background and have great stories to tell. I’ve been doing a lot of Post A Day from WordPress, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, but is it what you want to see?

Many of you have heard me tell a story or two (or more). What story would you like me to tell? Is it one I’ve already told? Is it one that you haven’t heard before, or one for which you didn’t hear the ending? That doesn’t mean that I’m going to change everything, because I will still write a thing or two from Post A Day.  Maybe I’m missing a story about my personal endeavours or my work experience. You tell me.

When did you realize you were an adult?

When did you realize you were an adult?

I moved out of my father’s house when I was 20, a week after I finished high school. I moved in with my friends Emily and Stephanie to an apartment at Yonge and Eglinton. They had moved in two months earlier and I followed after I was done school.

I worked at Parks and Recretaion, started working at a cofee shop, cleaned an apartment and sold roses on Church Street. I’d stopped working at the comic store a few months earlier. I made just enough money to pay my rent, buy coffee now and again, and cover my groceries. I was finally on my own. But I wasn’t a grown up, despite having been a fairly mature child for my age.

About two months in, I realized that I needed a more regular job. I applied to work in a women’t clothing store in the Eaton’s Centre. I started during their end of summer sale so the dress was pretty casual. I cam in the next week wearing similar clothing to the previous week. Big mistake. They’d changed over to the fall collection and no one had told me. My manager took me to the back room and had a chat with me. She said that most of the girls still lived at home and didn’t have to worry about bills and rent like I did. She held a few items back from the sale that I could purchase to improve my wardrobe and gave me a great start.

I worked there for about six months when I moved into my own apartment…alone. Shortly thereafter, I began working for my father. I had my own bills, my own place, my job and no one else was going to do the dishes for me. I was finally a grown up.

What would your profession be if you didn’t need money?

What would your profession be if you didn’t need money?

I think I’d like to be a writer. I’ve certainly beeing enjoying writing these blog posts for Post A Day, but I don’t seem to have enough time to write them. I’m certainly trying to change that, but if I could learn to write and do that for a living…I’d be a happy camper. Put some photography into it around the world (so add in the travelling) and I’m sold! Where’s my winning lottery ticket…?

Have you ever considered writing a book? If so what kind?

Have you ever considered writing a book? If so what kind?

I actually have a separate blog dedicated to this very thing: shadowshui.wordpress.com

There are two different ideas that I present, both are science fiction:

1. Shadow Shui: This was a role-playing game that a bunch of friends and I played that never got finished. I used it as the basis for an assignment in a Science Fiction English course at Ryerson University. I even took this to a writer’s group that I joined at a friend’s local bookstore.

2. A sort of fan fiction related to a character in “Doctor Who”: Jenny. She was born his daughter and at the end of the episode flew off in a shuttle after the Doctor thinks she’s dead. She goes off in search of him, but we don’t know how much of his abilities she has taken on, so it opens a world of possibilities.

My Favourite Job Interview

I went for my first co-op position at a real estate firm as an IT Support Person. I went into Chris’s office where we talked about my resume, since I had a background in real estate.

To test my IT knowledge he asked a-matter-of-factly: “what does DHCP mean?”

“Dynamic Host Control Protocol” I replied. (and yes, I always got the “c” wrong. It should be “configuration”)

I was trying not to run on as I am prone to do, but he then asked: “And what does it do?”

“It’s what hands out IP addresses on a network from a centralised location.”

“Okay. I think you’re right. I’m a business guy myself, so I’m not sure, but I think you’re right.”

He hired me on the spot and I started that week and was there for a year and a half while in school until I went to Hong Kong on an exchange. Thanks Chris for making it so memorable.

Advice on a Twitter Handle

I am looking to get a Twitter handle for a company. We will call them X. The ideal twitter handle has been taken by a company in Scotland, so I need alternatives other than X1. They are a computer and technology company.

I would love suggestions on this. The best thing I can think of is to make it by region:

  • XCA (for Canada)
  • XTO (for Toronto)

They have a remote office in Quebec, but their main business is in  Ontario. Any other thoughts on how I can modify the name of the company to make it better? Don’t think I want to get into use the underscore idea. Would love to hear thoughts and I’ll let you all know next week of what I’m doing. Many thanks! Good karma upon you all. Hope I can help to bestow it in future very soon!

FITC FTW

I’d noticed recently that a few people that I follow on Twitter have been talking about this conference called FITC. For those that don’t know, FITC = Flash In The Can. For more info on the conference, you can check it out here.

Enter Justin Kozuch and 49 Pixels (aka Pixel to Product). I entered a contest to win a conference pass worth about $700. Did I mention that he would be a great Manager of Conversation? (@FITCJustin). Well, he should.

But now I have a dilemma: What sessions should I attend? I’ve got a background in doing web sites, but the skills need some upgrading. Have even thought about getting back into it recently. I was pretty good at coding them, but could use some more design ideas.

So dear readers, if you were granted such a gift, how would you use your powers for good? The schedule is here. What would you attend and why?

Bridget Jones: New Year Edition

Number of alcohol units over the last two days: Too many to count

Number of delectible finger foods at Pre-NYE birthday party: Too many to count

Number of Gingerbread houses: -1

Number of karaoke songs sung: 1

Number of pre-NY workouts: 1

Number of NY text messages from unknown senders: 2

Had good evening of training a few nights ago. Think I’ve finally figured out that form. Went to pub and ate salad (good). Wasn’t ready to go home, so went to #loserkaraoke at Tequila Sunrise with a few tweeps, @AlexBlom, @Dan_L, and @photojunkie. Missed @jpuopolo unfortunately. Hope he and his wife are going well on the #babypuopolo watch! She was due today, so as soon as there is extended radio silence, am sure that we’ll know. Hadn’t done karaoke in a while, but glad I stuck around. Got home late, but fun times figuring late night route home. Thankful for 24 hour TTC service outside my door.

Next day, got gear together and went to friend’s for pre-NYE birthday party. Lots of finger foods, good wine, Rock Band, polar bears and singletons. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to break more boards at training. Took three tries to break the gingerbread house, so either am a great builder and should consider career in hurricane/tornado prone areas or am complete weakling. Even caused hand to bleed. Either way, am #toughcookie. See it here.

Had amazing time at NYE party with good friends and had interesting voyage home which involved a bus and 2 cabs, only paid for one. Great photos can be seen here.

Still have not heard about dream job, but with holidays, could be delayed. Expect to hear Monday or Tuesday.

Not making too many resolutions this year. Too many disappointments. Chose “hope” instead of “resolve”. Therefore, HOPE to (in no particular order):

  1. Lose weight and lead healthier life
  2. Learn to knit and will have completed at least one project this year
  3. Cook and read more often
  4. Get dream job
  5. Find love, even if only temporary
  6. Procrastinate less.

Not a lot to ask, is it? Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year. Let it be better than the last.

– Shanta

Bridget Jones: Day 3

Units of Caffeine: 3

Units of Alcohol: 3

Cigs: Still none (over 4 years now)

Meals: 2

Muffins: (Home made) 2

Fruits: 1

Salads: none

For those who have taken to reading my Bridgesque posts, I am doing my best to keep you informed but not to bore. I’m still working on this and thank you for your patronage, but know also that to protect the guilty…I mean…innocent, I’m not going to post everything. That would just be stupid. Full Stop!

At the stroke of midnight last night (Tuesday/Wednesday) I took to read my horrorscope hoping to gain some insight into my upcoming 2nd interview. Oddly, I found this:

You have someone’s attention now, Capricorn. You may not have noticed, but you have a secret admirer of some sort. This could be a romantic interest, but it could also be that someone is observing you and admiring your talent or skill related to business. If you are hoping to meet the person of your dreams, stay alert for someone’s shy flirtations. If you are hoping to make a career move or you need to make a special connection for your business, keep your eyes open for opportunities. This is a good day to make progress in both areas.

Who could it be? I thought I had it figured out, but alas I was wrong. Am happy that they have found someone, but was slightly disappointed. Part of me thought it might be me. Not that I would have done anything, but it would have been a boost to the self-esteem to say the least. Had built it up because of stupid horrorscope. Thought I had it figured out. Oh well…Back to the drawing board. <looks up horrorscope for the next day> Does seem promising.

Went for second interview BTW with full arsenal. Research, done; reference list, done; reference letters, done; outfit, done. Arrived 20 minutes before appointment. Can’t go wrong, right? Keeping fingers crossed and will hopefully find out Friday.

Originally had another piece to go in here, but think I will make it a separate post. I’ll save the New Year’s stuff for tomorrow. For tonight, we train and go kick the crap out of stuff. Good way to kick 2010 to the curb!