Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward


Always be a student…

My first official ‘lesson’ in web development was a six week beginner’s Javascript class. It was offered by the Columbus chapter of Girl Develop It or GDI. I didn’t know it when I signed up, but this would be the springboard for my career.

Honestly, I didn’t retain much of the knowledge presented in those six weeks. I was as green as could be to the programming world. Most of the information sailed right over my head but I did gain something incredibly valuable from attending: the spark to learn more. I wanted to understand, why I didn’t understand. I was hooked.

Teach to Learn

After a year of sharpening my skills and making the leap into full-time web development, I was approached by GDI to TA for the beginner/intermediate HTML/CSS courses.

Talk about feeling extremely under qualified! How was I supposed to stand in front of a group of students and tell them how things should be? What if I didn’t have the answers or steered them in the wrong direction?

After several internal debates and a bit of pressuring though, I decided to give it a go. Not only were my fears terribly off, but teaming up with Columbus’ GDI community was one of my best decisions. Getting to ignite, hone, and nurture students is a pretty great feeling. I never thought I was capable of helping folks in such a significant way. Seeing a student go from overwhelmed and confused to confident in their skills is something everyone should experience.

Since my first course, I’ve assisted five additional semesters and its only gotten better. Now, it’s not just about teaching the curriculum, it’s about finding better, more efficient ways to present the information. As a teacher, the planning and prep has not only helped to sharpen my own skills, but its kept me in the student mindset; always looking for ways to make web development approachable and fun.

Give back

Girl Develop It is an international organization providing affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction. Although their focus is getting women into tech, they also welcome men to attend classes as well. GDI has chapters all across the USA. And, if they don’t already have a chapter in your town, GDI will help you get a chapter started in your area.

GDI holds all types of events throughout the year. Ranging anywhere from the aforementioned beginner HTML/CSS and javascript classes to more advanced classes, meet ups and social events.

Want to give back and hone your skills in web development? Hit them up and see if you can help!