The Designer/Developer Relationship

IMG_1671 Last week, I gave my first “real” talk at WordPress Meetup. I gave a short talk in December, but this time I gave a longer, 25 minute talk about the relationship between developers and designers. When I first started developing websites, I thought that I would have an easier time working with designers because I am one. I had heard a lot of frustration between the two camps and figured that I would be a good bridge. I was wrong! It has taken a lot of trial and error to get the relationship to work well. A good developer/designer relationship can end up yielding much better websites though, that are as close as they can be to the original design.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, you can see my talk, and Christine Rondeau’s on the same subject, here.

Women Talking WordPress

WTWThere has been a lot of talk and debate lately in the WordPress community about the treatment of women and women’s involvement in the community. Though debating is great, I think it’s important to try to improve things. One of the main reasons that women sometimes feel marginalized in any community it that there is a lack of visible women in their communities. Think about it: If as a kid you grew up wanting to be a firefighter, the Prime Minister or a developer (or any other countless male-dominated profession), it can be hard to see yourself actually doing any of these things, when the people standing up there aren’t like you.

In the WordPress community, the best way to change this is to get more women speaking at events. Events like WordCamp and Meetups. Jill Binder and Vanessa Chu, approached me a few weeks ago to help them put on a workshop to help them get more women to speak. I was thrilled! At one time, I almost did a Masters in Womens Studies, so it’s a natural fit for me to try to get more women involved in the male-dominated development world. So, we created Women Talking WordPress.

Women Talking WordPress is an afternoon workshop at The Network Hub (where WordPress Meetups are held). We hope to work with the women that sign up to encourage them to speak at WordPress events. We’ll be pooling ideas and practicing speaking to build up our confidence. If you’ve even thought about speaking at a WP event before,  join us (please do, it’ll be fun!) by clicking on this link. We’d love to have you! (It costs $5 so that we can buy name tags and print a few things, and any self-identifying women are welcome. If this goes well, a workshop for all genders may be in the works.)

I’m really excited about this workshop. I’m getting more and more comfortable with speaking, now that I teach at BCIT and am a guest speaker at Small Business BC. But having just given my first (short) talk at WordPress Meetup before Christmas, I’m looking forward to working on my own topic during this workshop. Can’t wait to see you there!