Giving Back – Professionally

I get asked all the time, “Why do you mentor with Canada Learning Code, and why do you present at WordCamps? Why do you want to instruct CLC workshops? Aren’t you busy enough?”

Yes, I’m busy. However, I strongly believe in digital literacy, and the importance of coding. No, people don’t need to make a career shift. However, understanding the technology behind what you see on the internet, will allow for people, no matter what their chosen job is, to become more fully rounded.

I’ve mentored with CLC’s Ottawa chapter for the past three years and will begin instructing in 2019. I chose CLC, because they target groups who are unrepresented in tech – which is amazing.

Additionally, since 2017, I have moderated panels and spoken at WordCamps across North America. Again, I chose to speak at WordCamps, because they are inclusive to all, and it’s a strong tightknit community.

I’m generally self-taught, and didn’t have that many mentors in development when I was a junior programmer. Now, as a lead developer, I’m in a position (and frankly, have a responsibility) that I can share the knowledge and experience I’ve amassed, and help those just starting out. Whether it’s via moderating a panel at a WordCamp, or mentoring and/or teaching with CLC – the intent is the same. I may not have had these opportunities early in my career, but I want to see others have them.

Plus, giving back is important and heartwarming. There’s nothing better than seeing a learner’s eyes light up when they get a concept, or having a hour-long conversation after a WordCamp panel.

Joy, happiness, and knowledge building. I do it as a karate sensei, and now I can do it professionally. Is there nothing better?

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