Django Girls PDX: Code Like a Girl

I learned an interesting fact about myself this weekend – I code like a girl.

A few months ago, I stumbled across a post on Reddit (despite what you may have heard, Reddit has a ton of wonderful people and useful communities). The post mentioned that applications were open for a workshop meant to teach women with no prior programming experience how to code using Python and Django. The workshop was being offered through Django Girls, a global movement to introduce more women to the programming field. Thanks to Kevin, I had a vague idea of what programming entails and what Python and Django are. I’d never really messed around with programming myself.¬† I have a good grasp on HTML/CSS and how those work, and had looked over some of the things Kevin had coded while he worked through some of his Python books.

I applied for the PDX workshop, hoping that it would provide me with new skills to better market myself in my job search. As a public relations professional, I thought it would be neat if I could say “not only can I craft the content for your website, I can code it for you too.” Excitingly, a month later, I received an email telling me I’d been accepted to the workshop.

As the date approached, I became a little nervous that I was going to be in over my head. After all, I went the liberal arts route because my brain isn’t mathematically oriented, and some of the lines of code Kevin has shown me looked like literal Latin to me. I was worried I wasn’t going to keep up with the rest of the group.

Now, go to nataliejhansen.pythonanywhere.com.

blog test

See that blog with the nonsensical posts on it? I put that there. Not only did I code the web page, I coded the blog app within it and created the server¬† it’s still running on.

And I understood (mostly) what I did to achieve that.

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Book Review |Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick

Ghost-in-the-WiresGhost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

Book Finished: September 15th, 2014

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


After two years of just dropping my boyfriend, Kevin, off at the entrance to the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas for DEF CON and then day drinking until he was done for the day, I attended DEF CON 22 back in August. Day drinking was still included, but I was also able to learn a lot more about what Kevin does for a living, and learn quite about the technologies that my field (public relations/communications) uses day-to-day.

DEF CON seemed as good a time as any to pick up a book by a different Kevin that I’d been meaning to read for awhile:  Ghost in the Wires, Kevin Mitnick’s autobiography. I unfortunately woke up too late during one of our DEF CON days where Mitnick was doing a book signing, so I didn’t get to meet him in person. However, thanks to this autobiography, I am eager to do so next year.

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