Introducing Vue Vixens
It’s my great honor and pleasure to formally introduce to the world a new program, project, and community, Vue Vixens!
Let me tell a little about the history of the project and how its success has caught me by surprise. I’ve been aware for several years of the existence of various initiatives to help introduce women to programming via the various framework communities I frequent — Django Girls (Python), Rails Bridge (Ruby), and ng-Girls (Angular) are just a few. After having seen the good that they can do by working within a given community, and after having worked with ng-Girls in Paris, it struck me that the Vue.js community needed such an initiative, so I decided to launch one. I ran the idea by Vue Core Team member and genuinely amazing developer Sarah Drasner:
I didn’t want to call it ‘Vue Girls’ or some such name, as I want to be more transgender friendly and I’ve never liked being called a ‘girl’— so following on Sarah’s hint of alliteration, I struck on the name of Vue Vixens — sassy and fierce, with a foxy flavor. I created a logo and launched the program on the big stage at Vue.js Amsterdam. To my astonishment, the program — which hadn’t even hosted a mini-workshop yet — was met with great enthusiasm in Europe, garnering many tweets, DMs, and pleas over email to start programs there.
Our first formal activity took place at the Vue.js USA conference in late March where I handled the conference’s diversity scholarship as one of the conference’s community partners, gathering entrants for a free ticket to the conference and picking 5 winners out of about 35 entries. We also had our first mini-workshop before the keynote on the first day of the conference, filling two tables of enthusiastic women programmers and working together to build a mobile app using the NativeScript Playground. In 20 minutes, every attendee built a ‘pet-finding’ mobile app and had it deployed on their phone.
We were having by far the most fun in that room in the morning, making a lot of noise and socializing — to my surprise, many workshop attendees remained at that table throughout the day, forming a little community spontaneously on their own.
A feather in our cap was that Sarah Drasner’s tweet about my talk and the launch of the program was for a time the most popular at the conference:
So where is this program going? We are enhancing the standard day-long-workshop format perfected by Django Girls and ng-Girls by providing a three-pronged program:
- A selection of mini-workshops that can be done as a breakfast or a lunch-n-learn
- Free, full day workshops associated with conferences, done either before or after the main conference days
- Consultation and management for conference diversity initiatives, including the creation of a scholarship fund to help attendees offset their conference travel and hotel costs.
To this end, we already have events on our calendar. We’ll do full-day workshops at WeRise Conference in Atlanta and at FITC Web Unleashed, at Connect.Tech and also at the Vue.js Europe road trips in Paris and Berlin. We’re working with Progress Next conference to spin up their diversity program, and will do a mini-workshop at that conference in Boston and in far-flung locations like Greece and Bulgaria. We are ready with content and swag: attendees get pins and stickers, Mentors get t-shirts! I’m particularly grateful to Progress, my employer, who has generously given me the budget for this great swag and is very supportive of the project:
All of this work has generated a community, whom you can find on our Slack channel. And we are everywhere! A group in Argentina, led by “SuperDiana” in Buenos Aires, has launched their own Vue Vixens meetup in partnership with the ‘VuenosAires’ meetup. Our MVP and fantastic partner, Natalia Tepluhina in Ukraine, has worked tirelessly to create workshop content, enhance the website, and extend the program. I recently met with Rob Cresswell in London, who is eager to help extend the program to England. And the list goes on!
Vue Vixens is ready, willing, and able to help you with your conference’s outreach programs, to host workshops, and to generally inspire badassery in the Vue community. You can help us, too! Join us as mentors, partners, and students! Remember, anyone can be a mentor and a content producer. If your employer would like to contribute to our scholarship fund, please get in touch via email at email@example.com. We are looking for the creation of a good variety of mini-workshops, please get in touch to pitch an idea!
Workshops: You can find our workshop content evolving here: https://vuevixens.github.io/docs/#/
Minis: Mini workshops are listed as supplements such as this one: https://vuevixens.github.io/docs/#/supplement1.
DIY: There’s a template online for a mini, if you’d like to write one: https://github.com/VueVixens/docs/blob/master/supplement_template.md
Slack: Join our Slack at https://slackin-fxsumkvfno.now.sh/ .
Contact: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: Follow us @vuevixens
Hope to see you soon, at an event near you!