LinuxChix Argentina and Argentina en Python joined their efforts to organize a DjangoGirls workshop (the first one in Argentina) - an introduction to Django applications development tutorial that aims to help to get more women involved - within the PyCon Argentina conference last November 12 -14 2015.
We had 30 students in total, 23 women and 7 men. We prioritized the women acceptance, but close to the event, we started accepting men by applying the “+1” rule. That is, “If you are a man and want to come, bring one woman with you!”.
With regards to location, 70% of the attendees were locals (from Mendoza city or near it), and the rest of them were from different provinces: Córdoba, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, and one from the neighboring country, Chile.
Finally, we also had diverse backgrounds. 30% of the attendees were students but there were also teachers, chemists, journalists, translators and social communicators.
We had 11 coaches and one meta-coach of with 5 of them were women and 7 of them were men. It’s worth to mention that it was a very diverse coaches board: people from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Perú, Brazil and Spain joined us to help as coaches!
Because of the disposition of the tables in the room, we made 2 groups: 2 tables for Linux and Mac users, and 2 tables for Windows users.
At approximately 9:00am we presented ourselves to the attendees: “Argentina en Python” project, “LinuxChix Argentina” project and all the coaches. We told them about DjangoGirls and some of their story and objectives.
Lastly, we introduced them to the basic use of the tutorial, and people started to read and code.
Everything went smoothly. We got a lot of questions and we could sense the enthusiasm of our participants. It was a very exciting experience for both our coaches and attendees.
We, the coaches, have learned a lot from all the questions they’ve received. And the workshop participants expressed to be very happy with the results.
In our role, we tried to answer all the questions we considered challenging enough, and we encouraged the attendees to search their answers so they could learn how to learn by themselves.
We tried, as much as possible, to give them the tools to work by their own and to help them to detect and solve the problems they hit on the road by themselves.
During the whole event we had some coffee breaks for all the attendees that wanted to get a break.
Yerba Mate - a typical infusion here in Argentina - was always present. It’s considered to be a ‘social drink’, because you usually share it with other people.
Having this option among the regular ones helped a lot to break the ice and lose shyness between all the participants.
Participants had also the possibility to get a sense of the rest of the conference during this breaks. Making them feel comfortable with the rest of the attendees and encouraging social interaction between them made them feel more excited to attend to the rest of the conference days.
One of the most noteworthy anecdotes we got from this workshop was the “Super PyMom” presence. One of the attendees -Mariel- had a 6 months old baby -Enoc- and she wanted so hard to attend to the event that she brought him to the workshop.
We couldn’t offer childcare during the conference, so she asked her husband Eloy to attend with her and help her to take care of the baby during the day. While she was at the workshop he was watching the baby, but in several occasions she stopped to breastfeed the little one. It was very inspiring to see her multitasking: taking care of her child and programming.
After eating, Enoc just slept over her lap, letting Mariel continue developing her very first Django application. It was so cute and sweet that we took them a picture.
After a pretty intense morning of learning, we went out to have lunch. Everything -lunch and coffee breaks- was free of cost for all attendees and coaches.
With happy tummies, we came back. At this point some of the people managed to deploy their applications: they were so amazed that its work was online, that they couldn’t believe it!
At 6pm they stopped coding and we shared some thoughts about the just finished workshop. We persuaded some of the most extroverts attendees to share their view. Everybody was really happy and pleased with the workshop, especially all the women that had never touched a single line of code. Getting such a feedback was amazing for us, since we managed to fulfill people’s expectations and even more!
Eventually almost every attendee and coach in the room talked about the workshop and their point of view. We were very happy to receive good feedback and constructive criticism.
In the last couple of minutes, we encouraged them all to exchange emails and other contact information, so they could start a local community, and maybe, organize the next Django Girls Mendoza.
Finally, we shared some Python, Django Girls, Argentina en Python, LinuxChix Argentina and other sponsors swag: totes, pens, notebooks, pins and stickers for all our attendees.
We also want to give thanks to the Python Argentina community. Near the end of the event most of the people in the community approached us and offered their help, and they got so excited with the attendance and results of our workshop, that they also offered us financial assistance and support to organize more workshops across the country in the upcoming year.
Subscribite a nuestro blog via RSS.