Life at Jama

How to Sharpen Your Django Skills One Workshop at a Time

The rise of alternative resources for improving your coding skills

Learn to code

“I jumped at the chance to participate in this workshop because, while I taught myself HTML in 1998, I have been woefully out of touch with what makes a website work since then. Django Girls appeared to be an approachable group of people with an excellent mission. Besides, what did I have to lose?” says Kristina King, Community Manager at Jama, who participated in the fourth Portland workshop organized by the non-profit group, Django Girls. Jama’s Senior QA Engineer, Hang Dao, adds, “My interest in attending the Django Girls workshop was to get more familiarity with the Django framework and to be surrounded by other Python enthusiasts. We use Python at Jama in our test frameworks and in our tools for QA and DevOps. It was great to be connected with such an active community – not only in Portland but also worldwide.”

Both Kristina and Hang appreciated the free coding class for a few reasons. Hang says, “I enjoyed the format with the smaller teams and having a code coach on each team.” She mentions there were no assumptions on the  level of familiarity with the topic or development experience. Hang learned about setting up a Python environment, Code Editor, Git repository and Python Deployment Server. She enjoyed having fellow Jama ladies at the event (Janessa Olson, Technical Support Engineer and Iris Blackburn, Project Manager) as they helped each other when they ran into challenges. Kristina adds that the workshop proved to be educational: “The coaches guided small teams (2-3 ladies) through tutorials that allowed us to work at our own pace, and by the end of the day, we had created rudimentary blogs. The best part was gaining familiarity with Python, Django, the command line, and Git. Not too shabby for one day!”

They’d definitely recommend this workshop to any woman interested in learning how to code, as “it provides a great foundation”, according to Kristina. “In the end it was definitely worth one Saturday and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to learn to code in Python,” adds Hang.

What are some ways that have inspired you to improve your coding skills?