Scotland JS

Edinburgh, July 19th and 20th 2018


By Mum


My daughter is only ten years old, but has already been determined enough to teach herself several programming languages and has big dreams of a future career in tech. As a parent I really want to support her in this and most of all I want her to see and experience from an early age that absolutely, the industry she has chosen is for her. I want her to meet female computer scientists, engineers and developers, and know that there will be opportunities and space for her in the industry too.

Scotland JS was one of the first tech events I’d come across that actively encouraged and offered support to people that wouldn’t otherwise attend. Entry fees and travel costs are a real barrier to access for those from low income households, people just starting out and those not yet in paid employment in the industry. Also running hands-on workshops during the weekend part of a conference is really helpful as it means people who most benefit are able to attend.

It was very clear to me that a huge amount of work had been done to make ScotlandJS an attractive and safe event for women, LGBTI, people of colour, parents and other minorities to speak at or attend.

Girls like my daughter are very much the future of the industry, and my hope is that more companies will commit to, and follow the example of Scotland JS in being welcoming and inclusive, and offering as much support as possible to young women and parents within the developer community.

By Connie

Hello everyone my name is Connie and I love coding, Professor Snape and waffles. I began teaching myself to code when I was about 6 because I played lots of video games like Minecraft and Terraria and I wanted to learn how to make my own. I got some books from the library and first I learnt Python (which is awesome), then HTML, CSS and JavaScript (awesome and amazing!). As soon as I heard about Scotland JS I wished so much that I could go but didn’t think I would be able to because a lot of conferences and workshops are only for business people. I code every day and I want to become a developer with my own company one day too. When Peter the organiser found out that I might not be able to get to Scotland JS he told my mum about the diversity tickets and he did everything to help me be part of it. (YAY!). Scotland JS was my first ever conference and I loved it so much! It made me feel really happy to join. Everyone there was really nice and welcoming, and there were beginners there too - just like me. Scotland JS was held in Edinburgh, which I had never been to before, it is an amazing city with beautiful mountains and scenery. The actual conference was held at Dynamic Earth Building, it has a huge mountain called Arthurs Seat behind it. When I arrived at Dynamic Earth I got my Scotland JS lanyard and a cool sticker to put on my laptop.

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Photo credit: Julie Broadfoot for Scotland JS

There were talks and presentations downstairs in the auditorium and tea and snacks upstairs. The talks were all really interesting and fun and I learnt a lot from them all. I learnt about the npm package journey and how it gets to your computer when you type npm install in the terminal. Before I went to Scotland JS I knew how to use npm, but not all the magic behind the scenes 🧙. I also like ES6 a bit more now, because of a talk on Tamagotchis! And I really enjoyed a fun talk about how JavaScript does Maths, because I really like Maths, and I learnt some cool new tips.

Listening to the talks gave me so many new ideas. I got started on a few of them right away and I even managed to make a game in JavaScript while I was listening to the talks.

At break time I invited people to join me to do some hacking and it was so awesome to work on a challenge together.

I really would like to go to more conferences because I met people from all around the world and made friends that I can keep in touch with to talk about coding and keep learning together. I had loads of fun. I even showed some people how to floss!

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Photo credit: Julie Broadfoot for Scotland JS

At Scotland JS they had something called On Stage, which is where you can get the chance to sit on stage during a talk and see what it’s like to be a speaker! I was asked by Peter if I’d like to give it a go and after thinking about it for a few days, I said yes. It really wasn’t as scary as I thought and anyone can give it a go.

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Photo credit: Julie Broadfoot for Scotland JS

I’m really glad that I did it because after I went to Scotland JS, it made me want to do my own talk. And I actually did it the very next week! I prepared my very first talk all about my time at Scotland JS and why everyone especially girls like me who love coding, should go to a conference. I presented it at my local girls coding group and I think it went really well.

Another cool thing I learnt at Scotland JS was how to use React Native! I took part in a workshop and learnt how to make an app and I made a tutorial about it for my friends to try when I got home. For my next steps, I’m going to create a blog about some of the projects I’ve been working on and I hope I can do another talk in the future too.

I really want to say a big thank you to all of the Scotland JS family for being so awesome and especially Peter for making sure I had the chance to get involved and give everything a try. It’s really helped me on my coding journey and given me even bigger dreams that I know I can achieve if just keep coding. 😊 Scotland JS Forever!

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