Even though we started at the end of 2017, you could say our real start was in 2018. At first we were just an online name with a couple of people attached to it. Maybe we still are, but at least now we can say that we already met some of the people in our community.
What 2018 teached us
To look back upon the things we did and achieved in 2018, I think it’s best to start with the events we organised. In 2018 we organised 4 Tech Talks in 4 different cities, 4 Social Nights in 2 different cities and our community slack and meetup group grew to over a 100 female developers. So not bad for our first year, right?
Of course there is a downside to the growth. We learned that having a lot of female developers on your slack and meetup group does not mean everyone will be as active or invested as you hope they’ll be. A lot of ladies are probably more curious than excited about our community idea and so we discovered the struggles of building an “active” community. We’d love to get our members more involved, but it’s an ongoing process of trial and error.
The members who have been actively involved so far were all very lovely and positive minded people. People to look up to! Which I admit gives me the energy I need to keep on going.
I was also reminded that you cannot make/keep everyone happy and that the decisions are sometimes tough to make. But to move forward they are necessary.
The founders team
As a team we took our time in finding the best way to get organised and to define our values and to set some goals. Some of those goals were:
- grow the community (not necessarily in size)
- get to know our members offline through meetups and social nights
- organise a Tech Talks event every 2–3 months in a different city
- organise Social Nights between Tech Talk events
- find inspiring speakers for our events
- have a great 1st anniversary edition!
- create a clear image of what we’re about
Our first anniversary 🎉
In November we celebrated our first anniversary and it was a blast! We invited 2 guest speakers bring inspiring and motivating talks regarding “women in tech” and had our co-founder Eva kickoff the event with a talk about our vision, community values and some of the future plans. As a surprise we also launched our brandnew website and look during the event! And finally, we closed the evening with a nice group picture to put on our website!
Thanks to our member Elke for taking pictures during the entire event!
What’s up next?
In 2019 we will continue our Tech Talk events with the same pace as 2018, so there will be a meetup every 2–3 months and a Social Night somewhere between two Tech Talk events.
Our first Tech Talk event is planned in March and will take place in Antwerp. If you are interested in speaking at this event, check out our guidelines on how to proceed.
We are also always open to discuss venues and/or sponsors for our Tech Talk events, you can find more about that on our supporters page.
Also in February, we’re organising our very first frontend workshop, where we teach its participants the basics of functional programming in a fun and interactive way! The workshop is limited to 10 people and is currently only accessible for community members.
We are also looking into organising a non-technical workshop, but we will reveal more about that as soon as some things are finalised. 🤩
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who helped us grow in 2018 and a little reminder to those who might want to help us grow even further in 2019!
Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
- James Cash Penney
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