Change is Terrifying. Do it Anyway.

On Saturday, 05 March, I am one of the keynote speakers for Django Girls den Haag.

Hi. My name is Rain Leander. Welcome to Django Girls den Haag. Today I’m going to talk about programming – what it is, why you should do it, what you can do with it. I’m going to tell you my programming story including how I got the job I have now. And I’m going to give you a little programming advice.

First, what IS programming? Ashley Gavin gave a great TEDxNYU talk where she defines computer science as a medium for problem solving and self expression. Just like a dancer will solve a problem or express themselves with movement in space, a programmer uses technology.

But then why should you learn to program? There are so many reasons. Steve Jobs said, “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” And code.org is putting out some great you-tube videos of “code super stars”saying that everyone should learn to program.

Paraphrased, some of the reasons include:

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Thinking About Writing A Collaborative Book

hrm… or maybe i should just write a book on my own.

but something that i’m willing to write a whole hell of a lot about. and also speak a whole hell of a lot about. being a woman in tech. just another unicorn. a call to arms. a call to horns. the book i’m writing can just be an ebook, not published in physical form. but another part of me wants to go full on scientific study. something with lots of research and nerdism.

but about what.

about an experiment. an experiment that has to do with me.

how to be a nerd. how to be a unicorn. becoming a unicorn. how to build a unicorn. from scratch. build a unicorn from scratch. a home made unicorn. rainbows and shit.

blah blah blah i’m awesome. just ask me.

feh.

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Hello, My Name Is

I am in the midst of a new position within Red Hat and part of the new responsibilities include applying to public speaking opportunities all over the world.

And since you have to include a short biography with these applications, I decided it was time for a bit of an overhaul.

For perspective, here is the old version:

K Rain Leander is an enthusiastic Software Engineer with a background in web development / graphic design / internet marketing and a Master’s in Information Technology. She is currently leveraging her procedural knowledge from over six years as an engineer with Red Hat to study Django and Python languages as well as OpenStack and RDO-manager technologies and become more active in the Fedora community.

I figuratively just fell asleep reading those sentences and if you did the same I DON’T BLAME YOU ONE BIT.

To figure out the new bio, I read a lot, diving here and there and everywhere for advice and insight and skipped over articles that similarly made me fall asleep until I put together something stronger, more interesting and, most importantly, a description of a person I WANT TO MEET.

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The Beginning of Something Beautiful

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with a few people about my idea, The Project, and started posting about it here and there. I spoke with friends and family about it and got some response via social media.

Then I did this thing.

This past weekend.

I ran over to the big building to attend StartupWeekend Groningen 2015. Based on The Project Pitch. To be clear, I have had my own dance company. I have worked as a freelance consultant for many years. I thought I knew quite a bit.

To (mis)quote one of my favorite shows, “You know nothing, [Rain Leander].”

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The Project Pitch

Hello my name is Rain. Yes, like the weather.

I am building The Project.

It will be an online community backed by social psychology research helping people build, make, accomplish, and change the world.

Imagine, if you will, that you want to accomplish a task or learn a new skill or make something incredible – you want to become a programmer. Get a promotion at work. Lose fifteen pounds. Design a bookstore slash cafe slash school for ants. Experiment with the internet of things.

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