For those of you who don't know, Toronto has a pretty fantastic developer community! There's a bit of a startup vibe in this city and that helps to encourage and feed the developer and designer community. Designers are eager to learn from developers and developers understand more and more the importance of designers.
I've been getting involved in the community when I can and the biggest instigator of that was Ladies Learning Code (LLC).For those of you who don't know about Ladies Learning Code, they are a not-for-profit who provides reasonably priced development workshops targeted for women (though men can attend). The demand has been astonishing! They've had at least one workshop a month, two per month in 2012, and each one has sold out almost instantly! All of their workshops are lead by volunteer instructors who are working in the tech industry. Each workshop is aided by volunteer mentors who also work in the industry and are there to help the students with any questions they may have during the workshop.
Heather Payne along with Melissa Crnic, Breanna Hughes, and Laura Plant run LLC together. They are such an enthusiastic group of women that you can't help but be excited about it!
Since I met with Heather back in December I've become a volunteer mentor at their Wordpress workshop this past January and this weekend I'll be there again to help out with their HTML/CSS workshop. It's such a great vibe and you meet such wonderful fellow mentors in the industry and amazingly enthusiastic people who are eager to learn! I'm also mentoring at their Intro to Photoshop & Illustrator workshop next weekend.
If that wasn't enough - and this is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to get involved with LLC - they are also running a March Break camp for girls called Girls Learning Code. I will be one of the instructors for the full week and I'm incredibly excited to help the girls feed their creativity in technology. You can find more information here.
Ladies Learning Code has major plans to expand and provide more and more opportunities to encourage women and young girls. Last week they launched a job board that helps to connect people in the industry with the LLC community to find talent for various positions. The job board itself is based on a Wordpress theme that they purchased but Heather asked me to modify the CSS to be consistent with the Ladies Learning Code website and branding. Check it out... it may lead you to a great opportunity!
For more info about Ladies Learning Code, check out their website. You can also sign up to their email list, or to volunteer as a Mentor - and I would highly recommend it! - join their developer email list.