Just a few weeks ago, I had Reasons.to conference organizer and all around awesome human being John Davey shoot me off an email asking if I would be willing to connect with another speaker. She was new to the speaker lineup for the event happening in the fall, and she was looking for some advice, insight – anything to help make her presentation as successful as it could be.
This seemed like a simple request a friend would ask of a friend – can you connect with someone and have a chat. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized not only what an honor, but also what a responsiblity it was. Honor because, well, John thought highly enough of me to recommend and reach out to me as a person who could potentially mentor a new speaker. Responsibility because, I had the opportunity to help someone in a way that I previously had not imagined, and I couldn’t possibly predict how fulfilling it would be. At the end, I made a new friend, but I also made a contribution back to the community.
I try to do these little things. I don’t know if they make a difference but I know that they are things I can align myself with and feel like I am making an active contribution towards change rather than just talking about it how it has to happen. Recently, I have tweeted that if any women wanted to attend a tech event/conference but felt intimidated to do so, I’d gladly join them. I’ve helped a bunch of people – not just women but also men, put in their proposals for speaking slots.
So now, wanting to do more of this, I am going to open up some office hours – basically a time slot where anyone can reach out to me and chat. Sign up here : http://ohours.org/bitchwhocodes or here http://bitchwhocodes.youcanbook.me
Want help submitting proposal for a conference? I’m your girl. Want some advice on a situation? I can help you with that, but of course, at your own risk. Need a serious critique on your portfolio? My lack of verbal filter just might help you. Need to make a connection and not sure how to do it? Perhaps we can figure it out. It doesn’t matter who you are – male, female, young, old, keyboard cat – let me know. If you want to talk about something tech related, I’m in.
Every Tuesday – from 10 am to 12 pm EST, I’m available. That doesn’t work for you? Hit me up on twitter and we’ll figure out a way to connect. I can always find time.
This isn’t going to change the world. It’s not going to change the industry. But maybe in some really microscopic way, I am doing my part to help others in a way that is a bit more tangible than talking about what should be, could be, but isn’t. Can’t hurt to try something new, and perhaps others will go out on a limb and do the same.