Ladies of Code January Meetup

Last night I delivered my first lightening talk in nearly two years at a  Ladies of Code meet up, and I absolutely loved it! ⚡️🎤

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To say I was nervous beforehand was an understatement. Public speaking has never been my forte (as you might be able to tell from the two year gap!), but it’s something I really want to get into doing, and to do this I need to stop assuming that no one wants to hear what I’ve got to say!

So when I was asked by one of the women who runs the local Ladies of Code to do a talk, I pushed that voice in the back of my head away.
Doing this felt so freeing.

I’ve been wanting to do some talks for at least the last six months, yet I’ve let my self-doubt get in the way, but now I’m slowly pushing that down, which I covered in the talk when I discussed Imposter Syndrome.
After talking to Natasha, I decided to deliver a talk on Side Stepping into Tech, focussing on how I got a job in programming without going to university, and how others can get into the industry without the relevant degree.
Which I think is really important to talk about as teenagers should know that you don’t need to go to university to get you’re desired job (minus doctors etc, but you get the idea)!

The Event

This was my first Ladies of Code event, but as it was at my workplace I felt a lot more comfortable for me.

On arrival there were cocktails 🍸 and canapes – another speaker (Becky) and I were recommend to have at least one cocktail as a bit of dutch courage! 😂

27018447_1703066519739032_234818769_oThe cocktails were gin with homemade lemonade and lavender – so delicious!

Firstly Natasha and Renee gave introductions to the event as well as taking a few selfies!

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26972563_1703066699739014_598714199_oA bit of fun before the talks began!

Four talks took place, not including mine, and you could tell each woman was so passionate about the topic she was talking about.
The topics ranged from future technology to AI to the relationship between a BA and a developer.

Everyone delivered their talks so well and all left food for thought in my head after each talk had concluded.

I was the last talk – so obviously I felt like a shaking mess! I covered the two topics I mentioned above and it seemed to go down extremely well!
I couldn’t believe the amount of tweets I received afterwards (follow me on Twitter if you wish – @clarecodes 😉) was just so humbling and similar to the CFGConf, I met some people I’ve talked to on Twitter and have followed their blogs for a while! It was so nice to finally put a face to a name!

I also received a lot of contact numbers to do the talk elsewhere which was amazing! I’m definitely going to get rid of the fear of public speaking this year! 🎤

The best thing for me though, was when a group of ladies approached me at the end and congratulated me on the talk and also said how brave I was to also tackle mental health in the talk and Imposter Syndrome is not something a lot of people talk about.
This truly blew me away as all I did was talk about my experience battling Imposter Syndrome.
A lot of people suffer with it, so I don’t particularly understand why its not discussed more! 📝 blog post coming about this soon!

I left the event realising that my fear of public speaking was irrational, and I shouldn’t worry about how people are going to react when I do a talk, because everyone reacted so well and gave such wonderful feedback, so much so I am so motivated right now to do another one! 🙌🏻

I’m very excited to see where this takes me! 👊🏻

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