I Finished the Beginner Tutorial, Now What?
By Kelsey Karin Hawley

You've written "Hello World." You've finished the beginner code tutorial. What's next? In this talk I'll summarize tips and resources to give you the next step based on three common learning styles as well as resources to get connected with mentors and other learners. Attendees will be empowered to take their knowledge beyond the tutorial and into practice.

Saturday 2 p.m.–2:25 p.m.

This talk will cover 3 different learning styles that I have experienced and observed for where to go after finishing a beginner tutorial (like CodeAcademy).

Learning through practice or exercise based learning. This section would focus on websites useful for building up skills and comfort in a language (resources like HackerRank, Project Euler, etc). It would also provide resources for getting feedback on code, like exercism.io

Learning through others or vicariously. This section would focus on tips for finding open source projects that can be read through. This would discuss reading through another's code, how to look up concepts or libraries that are new, and how to work on existing bugs. This might also give tips on breaking another's code to better understand how it works and how it could be improved.

Project based Learning. This section would focus on tips for managing a project based approach - not biting off more than you can chew, breaking an idea down into managable pieces, and not getting discouraged. This would also cover tools like Stack Overflow and language communities that can be used when a person gets stuck on a bug or needs ideas on how to solve a problem.

Get Connected. This section would discuss various groups and communities (PyLadies, meetups, etc) that can be used for networking and growing knowledge. I will also discuss finding a mentor, either at your current place of work, or from within a community group. As a mentor, I'll talk about things to look for in a mentor and what a mentee can hope to gain from that relationship.

To summarize, I'll reiterate the three different learning styles while reinforcing there is no right or wrong way to brige the gap between Hello World and building a web app. I'll also summarize the various resources along the way (HackerRank, PyLadies, mentorship).

Kelsey Karin Hawley

Kelsey has been a software engineer for 5 years specializing in web app development. While at the Internet Archive, she found a passion for website accessibility and built tools to improve user experience through accessibility. She thrives on collaboration and knowledge sharing both in and out of the office. She loves mentoring junior engineers at work, recently taught a Summer Immersion Program at Girls Who Code and is currently mentoring at Hackbright. She also cowrote a beginner tutorial called Intro to the Command Line and Intro to Git.

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