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ClojureBridge In Practice 2016


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ClojureBridge is a nonprofit organization that provides free, inclusive workshops in Clojure to women. Over the past two years, the Clojure community has written a curriculum, developed an organizing guide, and started teaching workshops--but, how have those workshops played out in practice? In this talk, we'll look at what it takes to organize and run a successful ClojureBridge workshop, hearing from those who have done it, themselves!

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ClojureBridge In Practice 2016

  1. 1. ClojureBridge in Practice Clojure/West 2016
  2. 2. Who are we? Katherine “kf” Fellows Data Engineer at Simple @kf Anna Pawlicka Software Developer at @WalmartLabs @AnnaPawlicka
  3. 3. What is ClojureBridge? ClojureBridge is a non-profit, volunteer- driven effort to increase diversity within the Clojure community by offering free, beginner-friendly Clojure programming workshops for women. Image credits, clockwise: Yamila Moreno @ ClojureBridge London, Arne Brasseur @ ClojureBridge Berlin, Mei Weng Brough-Smyth @ ClojureBridge Brisbane
  4. 4. Where did ClojureBridge come from? Adopted the RailsBridge model of programming workshops Member of Bridge Foundry, a nonprofit umbrella that supports programming language-focused diversity organizations. Bridge Foundry
  5. 5. What does ClojureBridge do? Write Clojure lesson plans for workshops Teach volunteers how to run diversity-focused workshops Organize workshops Teach women how to code in Clojure!
  6. 6. Curriculum
  7. 7. ClojureBridge Curriculum
  8. 8. ClojureBridge Curriculum
  9. 9. Why write a curriculum from scratch?
  10. 10. Why write a curriculum from scratch? 38 different Clojure books Not self-published Include every edition of each book, since some books had different authors for each edition
  11. 11. Why write a curriculum from scratch? 37 “he” 1 “she”
  12. 12. Why write a curriculum from scratch? 232 “he” 9 “she”
  13. 13. Why write a curriculum from scratch? Input from people who aren’t men!
  14. 14. How can I contribute to the ClojureBridge curriculum? Choose a module! Teacher’s Guide Set Up Guide Core Curriculum Capstone Application
  15. 15. many Capstone Apps! Turtles Walk Snowflakes Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Global Growth Caesar Cipher … your idea/implementation ?
  16. 16. Who writes the ClojureBridge curriculum?
  17. 17. Who writes the ClojureBridge curriculum? Howard Abrams David Chelimsky Elango Cheran Daniel Compton Sean Corfield Clinton Dreisbach Sean Duckett Katherine Fellows Julian Gamble Josh Head Bridget Hillyer Rebecca Jackson Amanda Kievet Karianne Mah Eleonore Mayola Alex Miller Buro Mookerji Norman Richards curriculum, tones, welcometoclojurebridge, drawing, getting-started, global-growth
  18. 18. Curriculum Contributor: Elango Cheran Wrote google/clojure-turtle, a Clojure library that implements the Logo programming language in a Clojure context, using Quil for rendering. Used by workshops that use turtles exercises for their capstone project.
  19. 19. Curriculum Contributor: Elango Cheran Helped teach the San Francisco’s first ClojureBridge workshop in 2014. My main intention in getting involved was to pitch in to the effort. I wanted do my part to help ClojureBridge -- a beginners Clojure workshop that has great (Clojure) community support -- to be able get off the ground and be successful in the early stages. Of course, I totally agree with the overall goal of increasing diversity in the Clojure community. “
  20. 20. Curriculum Contributor: Elango Cheran Found a good means of writing Clojure in other natural languages (e.g. echeran/clj-thamil). Saw in Yoko’s Clojure/West 2015 talk that teaching functions was generally the most difficult part of ClojureBridge. Chatted with me (kf!) on BART one evening and realized that a Logo implementation could help ClojureBridge. Heard that Bridget really liked the Quil capstone, so decided to use Quil for rendering.
  21. 21. Curriculum Contributor: Elango Cheran
  22. 22. If you’re interested in writing lesson plans, let us know!
  23. 23. Organizing Organizers
  24. 24. TODO - Find a location - Find sponsors - Find caterer - Find volunteers - Find participants - Marketing stuff (website, Twitter, Eventbrite) - … lots of other things
  25. 25. What help is available for first-time organizers? Mailing list:!forum/clojurebridge-workshops Mentorship Sponsorship assistance TA training
  26. 26. Mentorship: Who organizes the organizers? Yoko Harada @yokolet David Chambers @davidchambers kf @kf Malwine Gier @malweene Bhaskar Mookerji @_mookerji Anna Pawlicka @AnnaPawlicka
  27. 27. Organizing Guide Minimum Viable Workshop - what makes a workshop a ClojureBridge workshop Workshop Planning Timeline Money Things Templates and materials Class Level Grouping Guide
  28. 28. Sponsorship Assistance If you’re unfamiliar with fundraising or don’t feel like you know a lot of tech companies in your town, someone from the ClojureBridge board can help introduce you!
  29. 29. Previous Sponsors 8th Light Ada Developers Academy Adobe Akamai Aviso Babbel Bitcrowd Bitodi Brick Alloy Buyapowa CircleCI Rally Red Pineapple Media RJMetrics Shareablee Simple Solita Soundcloud Sungard Taser Thoughtworks Fy GitHub Gofore Harbinger Partners Heroku innoQ Intent Media Jayway LambdaWerk Leeds Center for the Arts
  30. 30. Teacher & TA Training A meeting to discuss teaching best practices and challenges Organized at least a week before the actual workshop Great way for all the volunteers to get to know each other We need it to: Help volunteers become more empathetic and better communicators Talk through anticipated problems and possible solutions Material used:
  31. 31. Organizer: Nola Stowe AustinClojure has hack days on a Saturday usually on a monthly basis, we meet for 3 hours. We took one Saturday and went through the curriculum and played with LightTable. We made some improvements and I developed the printable CheatSheet that we printed and passed out at the meeting. We also went through and tried each of the examples and improved the explanations. “
  32. 32. Teaching Workshops
  33. 33. Can I haz some numbers? ● 8 countries ● 24 cities ● 33 workshops ● ~ 22 attendees per workshop ● Over 720 attendees worldwide Image credit: Google Maps
  34. 34. Some questions from those organizers: Who should teach the workshop? How much experience should teachers have? Where do TAs come from, even?
  35. 35. Who should lead the workshop? Ideally, a woman! ...but maybe not?
  36. 36. How much experience should teachers have?Lots! ....some! ...none!
  37. 37. TA: Elena Machkasova Associate Professor of Computer Science at University of Minnesota, Morris TA’d for ClojureBridge workshops in Minnesota and Boston Gave the talk “Adapting Clojure to an Intro CS Classroom” at Clojure/West 2015
  38. 38. TA: Elena Machkasova There is no goal of teaching specific concepts and no assessment. The goal is to give students a feel for programming, a better understanding of what approaches and skills this activity requires, and hopefully to make them feel that they have, or can acquire, those skills. Also, hopefully to let the students have fun with programming and experience joy of accomplishing a task. The exact details of what those tasks are matter less (and students often surprise me by trying challenges that I didn't even think of). “
  39. 39. In other words... The goal of a ClojureBridge workshop is to teach new community members the basics and make them feel welcome to come back and learn more!
  40. 40. TA: Elena Machkasova Using contacts via Clojure/conj helped. Upper level students at all-women schools (Wellesley, Smith) was helpful (they couldn't make it, but might be able to next time). MS and PhD students in projects that use Clojure is also a promising direction. We do hope to get some of our Track 2 students to mentor next time. In the long run, this is probably one of the best strategies “
  41. 41. TA: Elena Machkasova Seeing people discover that they can do things that seemed so foreign to them is quite amazing.“ I have to admit that I was quite skeptical about the idea of a one-day Clojure workshop for absolute beginners, and now I can see that it is actually working from the purely pedagogical standpoint as well. It is the work of the community that continues to develop the materials, and hopefully our contributions to it are also helpful. “
  42. 42. After the Workshop
  43. 43. What happens next?
  44. 44. Retrospectives & Feedback Surveys ● Take a step back and analyze what went well, what went wrong, and what could be improved. ● Send out feedback surveys ● Share your results with the community Image credit: Chris Ford
  45. 45. What attendees liked “The patience of the teachers and the atmosphere - feeling that it was ok to make (a lot!) of mistakes!” “It was great to feel successful so quickly. “ “The environment was supportive/friendly and not as intimidating as I expected.” “Lots of instructors and different ways of teaching.” “I liked the format of the workshop where there's teaching involved, as opposed to the ‘everyone work on a tutorial and ask for help from a coach if they need help’."
  46. 46. What we could improve on “The tools, specifically LightTable, caused significant friction especially for beginners.” “Need more female programmer volunteers!!!!” “We didn't quite manage to finish the tutorial, but when I tried to finish it at home I found the step up from the previous modules to the clojure project too great and I'm not sure I can continue without help.” “It would be cool to have some follow-up or next steps activities. Like, what should I do after today?”
  47. 47. Stay in touch Reuse the attendee mailing list to: Invite to local meetups and workshops Notify about Clojure conferences: Opportunity Grants (49 recipients in 2015) ClojureBridge free ticket program (23 tickets given out so far) Clojurians on Slack Reach out, don’t expect “them” to come to “us”
  48. 48. Organizer: Jelle Akkerman Our Berlin chapter is focusing on retention. We have a weekly learners group for former Clojurebridge students where we make art (quil/overtone), web apps and even compilers(!!). “ Organizer of ClojureBridge Berlin
  49. 49. Think about CB alumni when hiring Groups you can reach out to: ● ClojureBridge board members & organizers, mailing list ○ ● Lambda Ladies ○ ● Women in Tech group(s)
  50. 50. Thank You