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January Lightning Talks schedule

We are so excited for next week’s lightning talk event with the theme of “Your first dev job.” We’ve finalized the schedule!

We’ll start the evening with our generous sponsor RedShelf saying a few words.


Pamela Bergson (@pamela_bergson) will kick off the lightning talks with a story about her first development job titled “I Only Cried in the Bathroom.” Pamela left a career as a neurobiologist, taught herself Objective C, and got her first job through a meet up. She’ll share her story, talk about how overwhelming the first day was, and discuss some tools she wishes she’d had at the time.


Next up, Zeke Nierenberg (@ZekeNierenberg) will be sharing his thoughts in “What should I look for in my first software engineering job?” When you’re just starting out, it can be tricky to tell a great job from a bad one. Zeke was once a junior engineer. Later, he trained new engineers. Now, he hires them as the CTO of Fraight. He’ll share some tips and heuristics for how to compare what companies have to offer a new engineer.


Fen Slattery (@sublimemarch) will tell us “How to Differentiate Yourself Using Empathy.” As a new developer, it’s tough to stand out from the pack of junior developers with similar skills to you. In this talk, they’ll share their story of how they stood out from other junior devs by caring about digital accessibility, and how you can use the things you care about to be appealing to employers. You don’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to know a lot, you just need to care and want to learn more.


Then, ‘Tine Zekis (@tinezekis) will give her talk “Career Changers and Impostor Syndrome: Leveraging Your Unique Strengths.” It’s very common for Impostor Syndrome to impact career changers, especially in their first dev role. Instead of going into the job with a deficit mindset, let’s talk about the unique skills you bring to the table that you’ve honed throughout your previous experiences.


Shamyle Ghazali’s (@ShamyleG) talk, “To Foo or Tofu - How possessing the mindset of bean curd can put you on the path to programming excellence…” will highlight the importance of being open to learning especially in your first dev job. By drawing parallels with tofu, a fascinating food that is super versatile, this talk aims at motivating the audience to embark upon their programming careers with an open mind and the courage to know the unknown.


Jess Unrein (@thejessleigh) will share “Three Things to Learn the Hard Way.” There are tons of streamlined resources that make our lives as devs easier, but sometimes hinder long term understanding and growth. Ve’s here to explain why junior developers should spend their first job using command line git, avoiding ORMs, and making as many mistakes as possible.


Brittney Braxton (@mintiib) is going to give us “Journaling as a Dev.” She will discuss her explorations with journaling and its application to tracking her week-to-week as a software engineer. She did this for about half of her time as an associate software developer and found it really beneficial to track what she was learning, notes for her manager one-on-ones, and goals for the future.


To wrap up our evening and bring it all home, Carly Ho (@carlymho) will talk to us about “The Other Side of the Table: An Interviewer’s Tips for Getting Your First Dev Job.” Ever wonder what the person asking you all the questions at an interview is thinking? At her workplace, she is that person, and she’ll be sharing some insights from their interview process and what she looks for from newer engineers and developers.

Location details can be found at our Meetup page.