Ela Conf 2016

Talk about a two-for-one special; this weekend I attended a Girl Develop It class about Flexbox and also the second installment of Ela Conf!

I’d heard and read about Flexbox, but like many others, I learn best in a classroom style environment. It’s much easier for me to make parallels to my own work or projects when someone is explaining to me the uses and options of a tool while demonstrating themselves. This class was great to help in understanding what the capabilities of Flexbox are and when it makes sense to try to use it. We were given take-home exercises and resources and left with the reassurance that even those who know it still refer to that documentation page on CSS Tricks all the time.

If you read my post last year from Ela Conf, you know how much of an impact the conference itself (the messages, the people, the community) had on me. So needless to say, I was more than excited for another round. My notes were sparse in comparison to last year, I think I was more drawn in to the stories and experiences being shared then making sure I jotted down quotes and “tweetable moments”. That’s not to say there weren’t any though…

“Be human. Be bold. Don’t be a creep.” - Eleanor Whitney

“Find a place that not only tolerates you, but embraces you.” - Brittany Canty

“… is really just a fancy way of saying, being a woman is fucking exhausting.” - Nicole Zhu

“You can be an expert at being a beginner.” - Elise Wei

Over lunch, break-out sessions were hosted at various locations in the building. The one I attended was titled You Do You: Taking Ownership of Your Career Path. The group was provided a bulleted list of tips for how to do so, from simply beginning to #humblebrag to doing the job you want before it’s yours. I also received some personal advice from Marianna Morris, the moderator of the session, which to me is exactly what the value of Ela Conf is. Not just hearing recycled talks but sharing experiences, seeking advice, and learning from other women who have been in your place.

I’m so excited about how much the Ela Conf community has grown since last year; and the organizers are doing an awesome job at making it clear just how much it has, and how important this event is. Doubtful I’ll be getting up to give a talk next year, but I’m definitely going to be more involved as a volunteer and getting the word out locally about this phenomenal event.