WDCNZ 2015: “Surely it’s just an if statement”

(Title credit to Amanda Dorrell from her WDCNZ talk “The fuzzy line between design and development”) I had heard what a great event WDCNZ was after my husband, Samson Ootoovak (a Ruby on Rails and JavaScript developer – he was a Ruby teacher at Enspiral Dev Academy and still works for them on the contracting side of things), attended last year and raved about it. So while I was a student at EDA and WDCNZ tickets went on sale at Early Bird prices (March? April? Around then), we bought two at Sam’s insistence. I had obviously never been to a web dev conference (I’d only ever attended disappointing Arts conferences at that point) and was looking forward to going to such a good one. I also had no idea whether or not I would have a job by the time of the conference, but figured that most companies wouldn’t mind letting me go. I just started with Rabid Technologies on Monday, and they were more than happy for me to take off Thursday – my fourth day on the job – to go to the conference. We arrived in time for breakfast, which was awesome – smoothies, coffee, and bacon and egg on English muffins. I have to say, the WDCNZ conference organisers and staff at the Michael Fowler Centre really looked after us all day – the food and beverage selection was bountiful and yummy – we did not go wanting. It was great to catch up with other members of the Wellington community over breakfast; as per most events in Wellington it would have been hard to swing a brick (is that even a thing? I’m not sure where that analogy came from …) without hitting at least 5 people you know (not that you’d want to actually hit anyone). It was a good start to the day, and we were more than ready to get started when the programme officially began at 9.

(L-R) Megan Bowra-Dean, Cara Hill, Aurynn Shaw, Samson Ootoovak at WDCNZ. Photo by Samson Ootoovak.

(L-R) Megan Bowra-Dean, Cara Hill, Aurynn Shaw, Samson Ootoovak at WDCNZ. Photo by Samson Ootoovak.

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NetHui 2015: Fundamental Fellowship

After graduating from Enspiral Dev Academy, I decided one of the best things to do in the hunt for a job (in addition to the colour coded calendar) was to put myself out there as much as possible. I connected with as many people in the Wellington tech industry on LinkedIn as I could, I attended Meetup events, I started a new dev Twitter account (@ilikeprettycode), through which I started following a bunch of awesome industry people, and I started this blog. It was through Twitter that I first heard about NetHui and it sounded like a fantastic event: three days of talking about the Internet with cool people from all over the country. I wanted to go! But as a newly graduated, currently unemployed student, it didn’t seem likely that I could travel to Auckland to attend. Sad face.

But then I discovered that the ever generous people at InternetNZ (who organised the event) were giving fellowships to people to attend NetHui. Happy face! I applied and hoped that I would get one. I figured it would be such a great way to meet people in the industry and participate in interesting discussions about this amazing tool that is such a big part of all of our lives. Thankfully, my application was accepted – super happy face! (I found out about my fellowship at about the same time I was hired by Rabid, so it was a good week!) I was going to Auckland for NetHui, 8-10 July!

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