Jennifer "Jenn" Strater is a Software Engineer at Altegra Health andCo-Founder of Gr8Ladies, an organization for the support women in theGr8 community. She uses Groovy and Grails daily and is an active participant in the Gr8 community. She regularly attends the local user group, GroovyMN, and annual conferences including Gr8ConfUS. Jenn also presents introductory interactive sessions at various Minnesota tech events as part of the Gr8Workshops initiative and national conferences including the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
The advent of code schools like Hacker School and the FlatIron School as well as weekend courses such as Code Camps and Rails Bridges has changed the way that programming is taught. As the demand for developers continues to increase, the programming community should consider alternative teaching approaches to fill the increasing demand particularly in the recruitment of diverse candidates. One of the main objectives of the Gr8Workshops initiative (and the Gr8Ladies organization) has been to provide free or low-cost basic introductory courses for both junior to mid-level programmers and non-technical participants in a warm, welcoming environment. The experiences from the last year have provided insight into how we have approached the subject of teaching Groovy and Grails to other nontraditional groups. The first 30-40 minutes of this session will be a presentation of helpful hints and lessons learned from the first year of the Gr8Workshops and Gr8Ladies education series. The talk portion will be followed by a guided discussion of current teaching methods.