As I opened my application late last spring for Django Girls Kansas City 2017, I remember feeling nervous. I had very elementary programming experience, having attended several Coding & Cocktails sessionswith Kansas City Women in Technology and having worked independently through several Coursera courses on R and Python.
Still, I wondered, did that leave me not qualified enough to participate in Django Girls? Was I too qualified, so then I would have to serve as a mentor? Turns out, I had nothing to worry about (side note: a running theme in the category of Things I Tend to Worry About in My Life). I was honest on my application about my experience to-date, and it was enough to earn me a spot at the table in honing my elementary coding skills as a participant.
Perhaps you are working on your application right now, or maybe you have thought about applying but still are not sure as to whether you should. With the deadline approaching at the end of this week, if you have thought even once about applying for Django Girls Kansas City 2018, please do so. That shows your desire and drive to learn new skillsets, and those are among the qualities of a stronger contender for participating in Django Girls Kansas City.
Here are three tips that I would offer for submitting a solid application:
- Application question: Why do you want to attend the workshop? Your answer: Think about how you use technology in your everyday life and how you might leverage the skills you learn at Django Girls Kansas City to better those experiences. For example, those who work in graphic design or instructional design might build a website to leverage their freelance work or to strengthen their creative and critical thinking skills.
- Application question: current occupation. Sure, you have a formal job title, but how does technology relate to that role, as well? If you are a student, how could learning more HTML, CSS, and Python help strengthen your studies? If you are a working professional, what facets of your job could be improved from studying new-to-you technologies and frameworks?
- Application question: How will you spread the word about Django Girls Kansas City after the event? Your answer: Think about your professional and personal networks. Could you encourage them to participate next year, as well? If you are active on social media, you could post your milestones throughout the day, to encourage others to learn more about Django Girls. Remember, too, that Django Girls is an international nonprofit, and one way you could make a difference afterward is in making a donation.
Just the other day, I was reflecting upon the Winston Churchill quote, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” There is no way to fully predict what you will learn in participating in Django Girls Kansas City 2018 – that’s the beauty of learning a new skill. (Most of what I learned last year is how much I still have to learn and how that is completely okay.) But in taking some time to complete your application, you set yourself up for planning a day that will likely open up a world of new opportunities for you.
Adrianne DeWeese is the Vendor Coordinatorfor Django Girls Kansas City 2018. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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