Edpresso Technical Writing Workshop + Coding Black Females

9 min read
Dominique Sabins
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What is Coding Black Females?

Coding Black Females is a nonprofit founded in 2017 that strives to provide a platform for black female developers. They help women by providing networking opportunities, educational resources, and a welcoming space to build relationships in their field. They are open to developers at all stages, whether they are just starting out or are well established in their industry. This organization helps inspire other black women in tech and strives to empower future black female developers for the next generation of tech. Coding Black Females also offers courses where members can advance their coding skills. They regularly hold events for CBF members and circulate current job openings to help connect members with employment opportunities.

Charlene Hunter is the founder and CEO of Coding Black Females. She began her organization to provide inclusive spaces for black female developers to showcase their talents and support progress in the tech industry. One way Charlene builds community at CBF is by holding community events for members to connect with their peers such as Speed Networking, Lightning Talks, and Meet and Greets. Edpresso partnered with Coding Black Females due to our shared mission of making coding accessible to every developer.

What is the Edpresso Technical Writing Workshop?

The Edpresso Technical Writing Workshop is a platform for coders, of any skill level, to practice their writing. Over the course of 4 weeks, the participants write an article and work with the Edpresso review team to improve their writing. The review team provides each participant with a technical content review and a proofreading review which allows them to experience a professional review process. At the end of the workshop, all the shots are published and 3 winners are chosen.

Meet the winners

The participants below were interviewed because their shots placed in the top 3 of this workshop.

1. Victoria

Victoria began coding in 2011 when she started her master’s degree in software engineering. She experimented with java while she was an undergraduate, but significantly advanced her understanding of OOP and design frameworks during her master’s program.

After finishing her master’s degree, she found it difficult to find an entry-level dev role. She attended a recruitment fair where she was introduced to DevOps, which is where she currently works. Her confidence soared when she learned about Women Hack for NonprofitsWHFNP is a community of volunteers who aim to advance the skills of women in tech and support women in the open-source community.. Here she was able to enhance her coding skills and configuration management knowledge using git. The experience was empowering for Victoria and she grew to help mentor new members.

Now she works in DevOps environments, deploying resources to the cloud using infrastructure as code configuration such as Terraform, Ansible, and Helm. Victoria enjoys coding because she is constantly learning new things and gets to investigate the root cause of problems. She is inspired by helping others and achieving an end product.

“I like to code because I like change. I enjoy learning new things and getting to the root causes of issues. I enjoy a challenge. I like the fact that when you’re coding, you’re creating something new. Whether it’s a website or fixing a bug, the satisfaction and a happy customer makes it all worth it.”

While she doesn’t necessarily love to write, it is an important skill used regularly in technical roles. She enjoys technical writing because the feedback helps improve her coding skills. This Technical Writing Workshop was a new experience that helped her gain confidence while writing.

Her current career goal is to become a technical architect. She wants to work on her written communication and public speaking skills as she will need to engage with customers in this role.

Victoria is motivated because she is constantly challenging herself. Whenever an opportunity arises, she jumps at it. Her approach to success is to always try something new and spend a lot of time learning. 2020 was a year full of learning as she gained experience with Terraform, Pipeline, AWS, and Azure. Her role keeps her motivated because she is constantly moving forward and taking on new tasks. Her approach to success is not to compete with others, but to compete with herself.

Take a look at a snippet of Victoria’s first-place shot!

How to sort a list of tuples in Python using Lambda

Overview

When we sort a list with a lambda function, it enables the creation of custom sorting orders. The sort() method and sorted() function can sort lists in descending or ascending (alphabetical and numerical) order by default.

Syntax

  1. sort(): This is a built-in list method called list.sort(). The sort() method sorts the list in place. It updates the order of the original list.
list.sort(key = none, reverse = false)
  1. sorted(): This sorted() function sorts a data collection like a list and returns a new sorted list. This function sorts the list and creates a new list.
list.sorted(iterable, key function, reverse)

2. Hope

Hope Olaidé Wilson blends a love of coding with a parallel career as a multimedia creative. Hope began coding a year ago when she realized that coding was more than just a hobby. She took on coding as a serious commitment and explored the possibility of becoming a software engineer. She is currently a full-time student at ADA Developers Academy which is an immersive full-stack software engineering program that leads to an apprenticeship as a junior software engineer.

For Hope, coding is very humbling and she finds “both the structure and uncertainty that defines coding to be a remarkable metaphor for coping with life’s challenges.” She sees the parallels between everyday challenges and the obstacles she encounters while coding. She approaches these obstacles by assessing the nature of a problem, breaking it down into simple pieces, and choosing a strategy based on the resources available. This allows her to successfully execute her program free of errors. Hope says that “coding terrifies [her] but it is such a thrill and it will never cease to amaze [her] to see all the incredible things that one can achieve with programming.”

While she does not love writing, she enjoys the final product. The stages between starting and finishing writing can be really difficult, but it is always very satisfying once there is a finished product. To Hope, coding is much like storytelling.

Hope finds the relative stability of a career in tech allows for greater autonomy in engaging the challenges typically faced by marginalized artists. While Hope’s creative interests in filmmaking and writing may seem starkly different to coding, Hope finds they each present appealing challenges through unique approaches to problem-solving and are each sustained by a strong sense of community.

“I cannot underestimate the importance of community. Before I was accepted into ADA, I found great value and support within communities such as Coding Black Females, which, funny enough, led me to Educative and encouraged me to explore the challenge of technical writing. Participating, sharing, and connecting with mentors and peers is what keeps me on my path.”

Hope is motivated by her community and the realization of how far she has come and how much she loves what she’s doing.

Please take a sneak peek at Hope’s winning Edpresso shot!

What are break, continue, and pass statements in Python?

Overview

Any program’s architecture (simple or complex) requires the exploration of a variety of possible coding solutions. To achieve the program functionality we desire, it is important that we check the suitability of the possible solutions. The break, continue, and pass statements in Python let us move from one feature of the program to another. We also use them to test different areas of our code within the compiler while it is still under development.

The break statement

The break statement has the following characteristics:

  • Its syntax is in lower case.

  • It is used within a conditional expression.

  • It is indented by four spaces, or a single tab, according to PEP8 style guidelines for Python.

It lets us:

  • Restrict the number of times we loop or have a specific condition to end the loop.

  • Break out of a for or while loop.


Adodoola

Adodoola began coding in the middle of last year. She contemplated coding for years but didn’t know where to start. Last year she came across an online course on the fundamentals of web development and immediately enrolled. Adodoola currently works in software sales while maintaining side projects about what she learns in her courses.

“A couple of great things about coding is the constant learning and being a part of a helpful community.”

The ability to transform a few characters into anything you want stands out the most to Adodoola while coding. She says that “you can be creative as well as informative” and “you can create amazing products that solve real challenges.” Coding is much like learning a new language from scratch, it is very challenging but you can do powerful things with it. After university, Adodoola wanted to take a break from writing. However, she feels that simply explaining her code allows her to better understand the concepts and gives her an opportunity to help others understand as well.

She is particularly interested in data visualization and illustrating data so that it is easy to read, understand, and inform decisions. She would eventually like to start her own company around these interests. Adodoola is motivated by the idea that in 50 years she won’t need to worry about not having taken chances. She leaps at as many opportunities as she can because she knows she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Read below for a snippet of Adodoola’s winning shot!

How to convert a subset of a string into an array using JS

Overview

To convert a subset of a string into an array, we’ll create a function to get the subsets and return them into an empty array.

We’ll perform three steps:

  1. Create a string and an empty array variable.

  2. Split the string into separate arrays.

  3. Create a function to get the subsets and input them into one array.

Example

In this example, we’ll perform the first step, creating the string and array.


WRITTEN BYDominique Sabins

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