GDI Woman Crush Wednesday- PHL

Quote from Laura Webb with headshot and link to GDI Philly

Last week I was GDI Philly’s Woman Crush Wednesday spotlight pick. The lovely Jen Dionisio asked me a few questions about what I do, GDI, and thoughts on tech in general. The full interview is here— I had a great time with these questions! Many thanks to GDI Philly— more information about this awesome group is below.

1. Your company and role:

1. I work in Information and Interpretive Technologies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My main role is all the tech purchasing for the Museum—anything from very specific software to giant touchscreen tables. No day is the same and I’m thrilled to work with a team of smart, kind individuals who love art and want to share it with as many people as possible.

2. How and why did you get involved with GDI Philly?

2. Wow, talk about a trip down memory lane! Three years ago I took my first GDI class: Intro to the Command Line. I wanted to know more about what was behind everything you see on a computer screen.  A month or two after that, I took Intro to HTML/CSS. Then, I wanted to be more involved in the group, so I signed up to volunteer as a TA. Since then, I’ve been a student and TA in many classes, including HTML/CSS 201, WordPress, SublimeText, JavaScript, Web Accessibility, Responsive Web Design, Git, jQuery, and Game Design. I went to my first tech conference because of GDI; the conference needed volunteers and Corinne Warnshuis, who had just joined Yasmine Mustafa at GDI Philly, forwarded that request to the GDI volunteer group. At my first tech conference and at a number of GDI events over the past three years, I’ve met several amazing people who continue to be in my life as inspiration, mentors, and friends.

3. Why do you think GDI Philly is important?

3. GDI Philly gives people a time and place to learn tech skills that directly correlate to more advanced job opportunities. The group also provides training in skills applicable in many fields, like negotiation and public speaking. But the most important thing about GDI is the community. No matter where you are in your career, no matter how much or how little you know, there is a place for you at GDI Philly. That’s the best part, really—that it’s an inclusive, encouraging space to learn and meet incredible people.

4. What is a project (or projects) that you’re working on that excites you and why?

4. I’m very excited to learn more about Python! I recently used Python to make my first Twitterbot: @Benjaminbotbot. It tweets out one line of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, in order, every day. The man is a bit long-winded, though; one sentence took four days and I expect many more surreal tweets to be generated.

5. Any advice for women new to the tech field?

5. Not knowing is okay, and you probably know more than you realize. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a word or acronym means. This is a good resource; I like that each definition has a picture and related terms. And again, you most likely already have a lot of valuable knowledge that can translate to tech—look for the analogies. Cooking and coding have a lot in common; if you can follow a recipe, you can follow a tutorial. If you can take what you learned from multiple recipes and change it to make your own, that’s programming.

Pink flourish GDI Philly- so what is it? GDI stands for Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. GDI Philly is the Philadelphia chapter of this organization, and information about events and classes can be found on Meetup here. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, or in one of the 53 cities with a GDI chapter, I strongly recommend looking into GDI classes and events. If you don’t see your city, don’t lose hope! Girl Develop It provides resources for those that want to start their own chapter and there’s lots of room to grow Pink flourish