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Perth {Web} Girls Inaugural Event

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Marcus Holmes
// Perth{Web}Girls, a world-first merger of Rails Girls and Django Girls, helping women to learn web development, happened on March 6-7th

The weekend of March 7th saw the first ever Perth{Web}Girls, an event that helps women learn web development. We got some photos.

First, a disclaimer: I was involved in organising this event, so please excuse any tendency to get all “this is awesome!” about it 🙂

Perth{Web}Girls is the world-first conjunction of RailsGirls and DjangoGirls. RailsGirls is a global phenomenon, providing an event for women to learn Rails in every city in the world for the past five years or so. DjangoGirls is closely modelled on RailsGirls and is doing the same for Django.
For those of you who don’t know what Rails and Django are, they’re web development frameworks; development tools to help web developers build websites easily. Rails is built using the Ruby programming language (hence Ruby on Rails), and Django is built using the Python language. Each language and framework has a strong community around it, who can get a bit territorial and defensive about their choice of language and framework.
The important part about Perth{Web}Girls is that these two communities are overcoming their natural antipathy and working together with a common goal: to help bring more women into the community.

The event itself ran really smoothly. It started on Friday evening with “The Installathon” where the mentors made sure that all the attendees had the correct programming environment installed and working on their laptops. The Django team split their attendees up into their groups and got them to meet their mentors, while the Rails team coped with the tricky part of actually getting Ruby and Rails installed, not an easy task.
Speeches were light this time around, with just a few words from organiser Diana Adorno about the event. The catering was superb, thanks to the amazing Peta Hayward, who once again provided the perfect meal for the event.
Saturday, once the coffee queue had finished, saw a brief intro on How The Internet Works from Ray Grasso of Thoughtworks, and then a hilarious short talk on Being Ignorant While You’re Learning Is OK from Martin Feckie (also from Thoughtworks). Then the Django folks went up to level 9 to start learning, and the Ruby teams stayed on the ground floor to get going with Rails.

At lunchtime the teams were sent out to go get food and fresh air, and the coding continued until around 5pm, with people dropping out as their tolerance for more code waned and other commitments occurred. The event petered out until eventually only the mentors were left with a few beers around the kitchen table – as all good parties end.

The event absolutely could not have happened without the help and support of sponsors Bankwest, Thoughtworks, Envato, WITWA, and Spacecubed itself. The organising team were Diana Adorno (Thoughtworks), Elena Williams (Django lead), Kate Kirwin (Spacecubed), Marjan Zia Khodadadian (Bankwest), Martin Feckie (Thoughtworks and Ruby on Rails lead), Hawkie, Bonnie Tysoe, and myself. But the unsung heroes of the event are the mentors, who gave up their time and expertise freely to help others to learn. The mentors were:

Russell Keith-Magee, Chid Gilovitz, Alex Hill, Adam Wright, Matt Austin, Adrian Smith, Shay Telfer, Dominic May, Kristen Clifton, Adon Metcalfe, Scott Percival, Matt Hartley, Ashley Felton, Tamzin Walker, Leona D’vaz

Martin Feckie, Aaron Beckerman, Nat Young, Lauren Langford, Anita Graham, Elliot Khoo, Zane Prickett, Ray Grasso, Diana Adorno, Jasmin Munera, Mark Glossop, Rebecca Skinner

As with RailsGirls, the event is planned to be a regular occurrence, once every six months or so, but to keep everyone’s momentum going, there is a meetup group that will meet every month to continue the learning journey.

If you’re female and interested in learning web development, sign up for news of the next event here

Some photos from the event


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Picture of Marcus Holmes

Marcus Holmes

Gentleman Technologist and co-founder of Startup News. His vision has made //SN a sustainable media cheerleader for the startup community. Former CEO of Phnom Penh Post, he can be found somewhere in S.E. Asia coding away...
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