I’m Courtney Robertson.
I would like you to help me welcome the
code differently return ready students.
These students participated in our
first ever adult oriented we’re
pressed development bootcamp.
This was at no cost to participants
because most of our funding
came through the cares act.
As such participants got to
learn how to use HTML, CSS,
We’re just beginning to dive into PHP
at this time, but you may have seen
some of these students popping up at
meetups through various informal Slack
systems and other places during our time
together, I’ve been ensuring that they
know where to turn, to find all of you.
Great folks through various
social media outlets as well.
And sharing all the news that
you have with my students.
So without any further ado, it’s my
honor to introduce you to my students.
I hope that you’re inspired by what
they share, and I hope that they
are inspired by what you’ve shared
throughout this time together.
Hey, uh, my name is Shelley.
Um, before this bootcamp, I worked in
the banking industry for about 10 years
until I left to care for a family member.
Post-surgery, uh, I actually became
interested in coding several years ago
when I was, you know, kind of convinced
to coauthor a beauty blog and realized I
cared more about designing the site than
I did writing the content for the site.
Um, I’ve learned a lot, you know, since
joining this bootcamp, but I would say,
um, one of the things that I’ve had the
most fun learning about was actually, uh,
e-commerce and creating a mock storefront
for my website and actually learning
Um, I’ve also learned that there’s
a huge community in the tech world,
and everyone’s here to help you
learn and grow and just here to
help you become a better coder.
And I hope to use all the skills
that I’ve learned to get a job
as a front end developer and help
design websites for my family.
My name is Caitlin Smith prior to COVID.
I was mentor for you through the
year and working with children.
I chose to be a part of the bootcamp
because I thought it would be a
great opportunity to not only rebate
myself, but to also provide resources
for women who have been stalked
and harassed after this bootcamp,
I hope to become a software design.
I mean, to state about these.
My name is Norma Ortiz before COVID.
I was in the middle of a job search
while volunteering as an event
planner and web administrator for a
nonprofit organization and studying
a Cisco association associates
certification during quarantine, I
was homeschooling my son and teaching
myself HTML, Java, and Java script.
When the opportunity to participate in
the return ready program became available.
Similar to everyone here.
how to cope and gain the necessary
skills to transition into my next career.
As a software engineer, where
I hope to someday develop and
contribute to technology that will
assist special needs individuals
live independently as possible.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how
we’ve been able to learn virtually
through zoom and still develop
the collaborative social aspect
of being in a classroom setting.
After the program, I look forward
to starting a new career with
the knowledge and skills that
I’ve acquired echo differently.
My name is Lucas Kimanzi.
Um, my background is in, uh,
it support and that pre COVID.
I was, uh, transitioning
Uh, with my focus, being, helping small
businesses, uh, get an online presence,
uh, which is more important now than ever.
Um, I am brought in this class to
expand my knowledge in, uh, coding.
I’ve had to rely on, uh, um, other
quarters and, um, a lot of our contractors
to do my work and, uh, uh, this class,
um, will help me gain my independence.
And be able to do that by myself.
I have enjoyed and appreciate that.
I get the instruction on patients
from instructors and I fell in
love with campus in this class.
And, um, uh, everything
uh, is working well.
Uh, even though it’s been done, uh, like
mostly I look forward to using my newly,
uh, quiet skills for my independence.
Thank you before COVID.
Um, I began my professional career,
um, as electronics technician,
and also I have, uh, education
and information system security.
And also, um, I spent about 20
years in leadership roles, um, in
the telecommunications industry,
performing operations management
and production management.
Then during the downfall of the
economy, um, I found myself in unstable
environments and looking to change
careers, um, and actually bridged the
gap and move into software development.
Um, so I joined code differently.
Um, what I found there is that.
Um, the training and the comradery
of everyone there has been a joy.
Um, it’s helped me learn, um, quickly
and also has given me the ability to, um,
learn about the different opportunities
available in software development.
Um, so what I hope to do is to
move forward to my second career
and software development and
become a software developer.
Hello, my name is Victoria
QANQIO previously before COVID.
I was working as a licensed
Um, but I wasn’t feeling a hundred
percent fulfilled by my job.
Um, I found out about this program and I
decided to join because, um, I’ve always
had an interest in web development.
Ever since, um, middle school,
I went to a performing arts
school and we use geo cities for.
My entire seventh grade, eighth
grade year, um, to create
websites and stuff like that.
And I’ve had a really
strong interest in it.
Um, I kind of detoured along the way,
um, but I found my way back and I’m
glad that I did, because with this
program, I’ve learned that I have.
creating functions, loops,
um, unit testing, all of that.
Um, and I realized that I would thoroughly
enjoy a job in Java script after I’m done.
So that is my end game.
Hey, miss Dolores Lockett.
Um, what I was doing before
COVID I was, um, doing daycare
and teaching in the schools.
And, uh, doing a lot of
volunteer, um, activities.
Um, when I, um, came to, uh, coat
differently, um, I basically was returning
to, uh, cope, uh, develop mint and,
um, development had been my, uh, past
profession and, um, I needed a way to.
Um, get back into the field of, um,
software development and, uh, that’s why
I decided to, um, join Cote differently.
And, um, what I expect to do after
works is apply my knowledge, that,
and the things that I’ve learned to,
um, good, the field that I was in.
And also the volunteer
activities that I was doing.
My name is Chris Louis prior to COVID.
I was a professional musician running
a wedding and private party band.
Uh, COVID has currently
shut that industry down.
Um, so I started looking at
potential career changes and the
opportunity to join code differently.
Uh, came and I’m learning
front end web development.
I’ve enjoyed learning HTML, CSS, and
work with each other to create websites.
And I hope to complete my career
change by gaining employment
as a front end, but developer.
I everybody, my name is
Adam Crow prior to COVID.
I was employed as a field investigations
manager for a private investigative
agency in Wilmington, Delaware.
Um, I was also in the process
of completing my MBA with
a concentration in finance.
I chose code differently because of
the increasing need and willingness
for companies to hire software
engineers through alternative talent
networks, such as coding differently.
Um, I enjoyed learning
Um, through this program, I hope to
obtain employment as a software developer.
Hello, my name is Michael.
Uh, before this program, I was a
coordinator at a call center, uh,
responsible for installing alarm
systems for new customers and handling
the sales reps and the technicians.
Uh, I had been programming
for about a year.
So when I found out about the
program, it just seemed too perfect.
I was really excited about it.
Um, and it, it really is perfect.
I can’t really say there’s any one
thing I enjoy more than anything else.
I think I just, I just love everything.
I love all of the content.
Something that really surprised
me about it was that, uh, all the
teachers and all the teachers aides
are really personable, really friendly.
No one gives off this vibe, like
they’re better than you or anything.
They just want to see you succeed.
Um, So that’s really cool.
And what I hope to do after is just
take my knowledge and keep going.
Even after the bootcamp ends.
Uh, it does.
It’s not going to end for me.
Um, and hopefully you get a
full stack position and just
keep improving my skills.
Hello, my name is vine
Kendrick ginyard before COVID.
I was doing ministry in North Carolina,
too, which I yet do all just via zoom.
Uh, in addition to that, I am a
photographer and a musician and I chose
called differently because I believe
in some format that code definitely
walks parallel with photography and.
Music, what I’ve enjoyed most is
the camaraderie with the students
and the teachers, the positive
energy and the support from others.
I was very surprised, however, that
skill that appears to be intimidating
and frustrating, but afterwards, a plan
to incorporate those skills that I’ve
learned with photography and music, and
hopefully become a software engineer.
My name is Gregory Lowe.
Uh, prior to COVID I was tending
bar and doing freelance audio work,
um, with COVID-19 happening both.
So those jobs kind of stopped
simultaneously, uh, which gave me
time to kind of think about where
I wanted to transition my life
towards, or maybe things I’ve been
putting off, which was coding.
Um, I chose code differently
because of the amazing
opportunity to acquire a skill.
Without the financial burden of maybe
returning to school or joining a different
bootcamp, which is thanks to the cares
act who funded our program, uh, what I’ve
learned or what I’ve enjoyed most about.
Uh, the program is specifically
I’ve definitely found a knack for.
It’s like a type of code.
So that’s been my favorite so far.
I’m kind of similar to everyone else.
The community has been
something that surprised me.
Everyone is here for each other.
That’s from top to bottom
from the founders all the way
down to your fellow students.
Everybody is supportive and
even outside, um, agencies and
people are very supportive.
So it’s just been great to have a
sense of community while we’re all.
It’s a bit isolated.
Um, what I hope to do after is help my
other friends who freelance build their
websites or apps, and then eventually also
obtain a job as a full stack developer.
Hello, my name is grant
Eldridge and I’m okay.
Prior to a COVID.
I was a clinical research coordinator,
um, focused on children’s, uh, drug
studies and also cancer, um, studies.
Um, I have a background though in, uh,
entrepreneurship graphic design, um,
photography, visual design, and, uh,
what I think will ultimately ultimately
led me here was that, um, there was
a time where I, uh, tried to get a
graphic design job and, um, It became
down to between me and one other person.
And, uh, they told me that they couldn’t
get me the job because I couldn’t, I
wasn’t a, I didn’t design websites.
And I was like, you know what?
I saw, I’ve never let
that happen to me again.
So once that opportunity presented
itself, I was like, you know what?
This is the perfect time
to add to that skillset.
And, um, What I really want to
do is, you know, either do front
end development or UI UX design.
So I’m, that’s why I’m here
and I’m enjoying the ride.
Hi, my name is tagine boon.
And before COVID I was a
financial services manager.
Um, I’ve always wanted to
get into the tech industry.
So when I came across this bootcamp,
it was the perfect opportunity for me
to learn new skills that will allow
me to transfer into the tech industry.
Um, what I like most about the bootcamp?
One is that the price.
Was great free.
And also that we are pretty
much like a big family.
Everybody helps each other.
And it’s great to have that support when
you’re learning a new skill like this.
Um, and after this bootcamp, I
hope to become a software engineer.
Hello, my name is Hasina.
Uh, for Colin, I was an
afterschool care teacher.
Um, I’ve always loved so many
different subjects that coming onto
this program, I decided to apply
and explore the tech, uh, computer
programming software development field.
Just being able to create
a website from scratch.
It’s so much fun, but
WordPress is so user friendly.
You get similar results, but without
having to have any priests, like you’ll
have preset code, which is really
great because you don’t need any prior
knowledge of coding and web development
to be able to create a full wall.
I think that’s amazing.
I really hope to be able to find a
position that I will love to wake
up in the morning and go to work.
Uh, I’m an aspiring full stack
engineer before coronavirus.
I was just working at restaurants,
you know, trying to figure
out what I wanted to do.
And then I stumbled upon Java
script, which I ended up loving.
Um, I even loved just building out
a calculator, which is one of the
main projects I’ve been working on.
And after this, I hope to find a job
and at least front end development
and continue down the path of
becoming a full stack engineer.
We are the sum total of our experiences.
Those experiences be they
positive or negative.
Make us the person we are at any given
point in our lives and like a flowing
river, those same experiences and those
yet to come, continue to influence and
reshape the person we are and the person
we become, none of us are the same as we
were yesterday, nor will we be tomorrow.
This quote means a whole lot to me.
You see, it explains a little bit
about how I got here and also how my
students got here this past summer, I
was asked to interview for the position.
It could different to teach WordPress
and immediately I knew this was
exactly the place that I wanted
to be, especially in this moment.
And in this time, My background
is that I’m a high school, former
business education teacher.
I taught school at Scotland
school for veterans children.
I was the business ed instructor, and
I taught HTML and CSS, um, as well as
other career development related things.
During that time I found open source.
I needed a way to collect
my students’ assignments.
So that led me to finding Moodle
and running my own Moodle server.
And I thought, Oh, I
might want a website too.
So I installed Joomla.
Soon after that, somebody
introduced me to WordPress.
This would have been around two, five,
and as I was reading, I discovered the
democratizing publishing statements
and what the four freedoms are that
were afforded by using open source.
And we’re pressing particular.
I strongly believe that all people
should be able to have a voice.
And, uh, what to support that initiative.
So as I got started teaching a few
side projects came along and I was
asked to install the revolution theme
on somebody’s website, add a little
bit of PHP code and register a sidebar
to include a widget at that time that
wasn’t generally possible in WordPress.
When that opportunity came my way.
So it caused me to start learning a bit
about PHP and databases beyond using, say,
Microsoft access in my class a little bit.
After that, I found a word campus
happening where kit mid Atlantic and
Neil dash was our keynote speaker.
At that one.
I wanted to go to this event.
But I didn’t register or find out
about it, frankly in time I emailed
the organizer, Aaron Brazelle
and asked if there was anything
that I could do to participate.
And he said, yes, he needed
people to register guests.
As they came in immediately, I jumped
in as a contributor into the WordPress
project because I was contributing through
a word camp that this would have been
before the foundation existed, even.
I went onto more meetups and word camps.
I attended one in New York in 2009
and got to meet Matt in the hallway
back when things were a bit smaller,
that was still a really big event,
but it was a bit smaller and easier
to speak with people like that.
And later that year, I had left
the classroom and wanted to pursue
working with clients more directly.
I came across GF waiting member.
And during that time we were,
one of the earliest were press
instructional programs online.
We taught were pressed as well as social
media marketing for small business owners.
Primarily they were getting their
websites and their online presence set up.
And so that was a lot of fun.
I moved into handling more client work
myself and discovered WP elevation, WP
elevation did a fantastic job at helping
me recognize the business administration
portion of working with website
development, as well as that onboarding
process and a lot of the common tips
and tools that we might need as we’re
gathering content from our clients.
I was at yet another word
camp event in New York.
And in this one was a contributor day.
So a day for everybody to come and see
how we’re pressed itself gets made.
I decided to attend that and
there were a lot of different
tables set up in one corner.
There were these people talking
about the rest API and what that
was going to allow us to do.
And the two tables that seemed
interesting to me were marketing
and training to this day.
I get to do a lot with
both of those teams.
I was torn because you see,
as a business teacher, both of
those seem to right up my alley.
I gravitated over towards
the training team and we made
lesson plans that you could find
I absolutely loved my time
with the training team.
I got to work with the likes
of Courtney O’Callahan Julie.
Tracy Laveck and Beth Soderberg.
Thank you ladies for your early
work with the training team.
And also thank you, Jesse and Teton
for the work that you continued
to do with the training team.
By 2015, I was at another word camp.
This one was the first word camp us.
Thank you all.
For those of you that
came and participated.
At this point, I had to take some time out
from the WordPress community in my journey
while I absolutely loved all of these
experiences and wholeheartedly believed
in the work that we were doing personally,
I had just had three miscarriages.
That was pretty intense.
And soon after word camp
us 2015, I discovered I was
pregnant for the fourth time.
Thankfully, I went on to have a son that
I can hold as soon after I had yet another
son enter the events calendar then by
modern tribe, I absolutely loved my time.
Working at the events calendar I began
to support queue and soon was moved
into working in release communications.
I enjoyed that process, but we went to
Panama and amazing opportunity Panama.
Earlier during that week, I was
asked about my job satisfaction.
If I enjoyed the work that I was
doing, and I struggled with that, I
didn’t feel like I could approach the
developers that were writing change logs.
And convert that into something
that made sense for our clients.
So with the help of a few people on my
team, I realized how I can get over that.
And that made all the difference for my
job satisfaction and also for our clients.
I want to give a big
thank you to Steven Page.
Scott Clark Jeff Serani Alexis, all
of the event, tickets screen team.
Thank you so much.
That brings me up to the point where I
was asked to apply a code differently.
This summer, when I applied the
initial program that I got to launch
was the high school students website
development internship program,
as a culmination to all of that.
The students got to speak at word camp
filling while there William Jackson
was our facilitator, William and his
new bride, Aida have been very active
in the WordPress community around
diversity, equity and inclusion.
And so our talk this summer
was a continuation of that.
William, thank you for all
that you did during that talk.
Also just before all of this
happened, the Genesis WP
community relaunched their show.
The first episode went out on being
black in the WordPress community.
We got to hear from like little the
co-founder of WordPress among others.
Thank you so much for that specific
talk that has meant a great deal
to the students in my program.
I should say at this time, that
before I left modern tribe with the
events calendar I reached out to read.
And Reed was able to provide some
hiring needs that modern tribe has had
traditionally with their applications.
And also I reached out to web dev studios
who provided me something similar as well.
So Brad and Reed, thank you both.
So very much as we were going through
our course, we use a lot of the lesson
plans that are on learned at WordPress
that work having the lesson plans, there
goes a long way for those that fund our
How does school run for us?
And what’s my approach
to teaching WordPress.
You know, there are lots of ways to learn
how to use WordPress, and there are lots
of ways these days to learn to code.
We of course were entirely online.
So we were using Slack and zoom like
everybody else, but also our classroom
runs using LearnDash each day.
We have a specific lesson that
the students will go through with
different topics inside of it.
I post all the recordings
onto Vimeo and then we drop it
into our LearnDash classroom.
I approach it first from
being a really good user.
We have to learn how to use WordPress
before we can start developing
a lot for it so that we know the
power of what we are developing.
We run through all of the basic WordPress
settings and we do that using the WP one
Oh one plugin, the students are able to
watch a bunch of short videos and navigate
their way through building their websites.
Then we move on to being a.
Power administrator and
they set up accounts for me.
And with that, I’m able to configure
GoDaddy pro and as a teacher, I can
hop in and out of their websites
easily from one browser window.
We use local WP.
Anytime that we are testing out
lots of plugins or themes, things
that we’re going to quickly install
an uninstalled sort of students,
websites are hosted with SiteGround.
And we use the collaboration tool
inside of SiteGround to allow them
their own access to just their
live website within one account.
One of those early lessons that
we cover is all about plugins,
how to use them, and then also how
to participate in.org with them.
After we get through, hello Dolly.
We also installed Jetpack and we
get our mobile apps configured.
Some of our students this past
summer were indicating to me that
they were unable to access the
websites outside of their phone.
Once our program concluded because they
didn’t have reliable access to laptops.
So being able to access the
WordPress mobile app became
really, really important to them.
I’m really thankful that you were
able to take quick action so that
we were able to continue using the
WordPress app in the Apple store, near
the upper end of our user program.
We learn how to use page
I want to give a call out to
Jamie V over at Beaver builder.
Thank you for kindly extending
a license to our students.
The students learn how to
use a page builder just after
learning CSS, bootstrap.
That’s because BeaverBuilder
uses CSS bootstrap with it.
I find that the page builder
method gives them a bridge between
learning some code to learning, how
to build a WordPress website, that
interfaces with the database and all
of the PHP needs that happen there.
So it’s a good way to visually help
students connect what they’re working
on to how that impacts their website.
As we get through being a really
good user, we then move on to
porking plugins, child themes,
starter frameworks, and more.
So I’m looking forward to
seeing where we can go.
You know, each cohort is very
similar to a feature release.
We have new things that we can do
with it, and it new places that we’re
going, we need to continue being aware.
About where we’re press is.
For instance, right now you’re
two into a 10 year life cycle
of rolling out the block editor.
We have the widgets areas seeing
blocks coming in soon, and hopefully
we’ll have full site editing in
the works in the near future.
So I’m really excited to see where this
is going, but you could see why it’s
like wading into a river part of the
support system that’s available around.
All of that are all of
you wonderful folks.
Some of you run some informal Slack
systems like the WP women of color.
My students have jumped
into that one, too.
The business of WP to the
Beaver builder, Slack.
You’ve been a great support system to my
students and inspire them along the way.
I also try to connect them into
as many meetups as they can
reasonably fit into their life.
So we had a few students attend
the WordPress mechan meet up.
The David Bissette was running.
That happened in November and
Adam silver was a speaker at it.
Adam, thank you for all the podcasting
and all of the meetups and things
that you do in this community.
My students were really inspired by
that talk as well as a few of the
other meetups that they’ve gone to.
I still have some really big
questions that I’m thinking about.
We believe in democratizing publishing.
So I’m wrapping my head around.
What does the training for that
democratize publishing look like?
Um, we’re able to provide this
program at no cost to participants
through government funding, but what
does that look like for learning all
over the languages under the hood?
Um, what kind of training is
ideal in those situations?
And are we democratizing those
open source languages too?
I consider a lot about fair
representations of brands without
turning into a pitch Fest in our class.
Anytime I mentioned a brand, we oftentimes
look at several people that feel
that same niche within the community.
We go to the websites.
We look at the career
listings that are there.
Another big area I’ve been thinking
about is mentorship and job shadowing
opportunities to give people an
opportunity to really see what
the day-to-day work looks like.
And as they wrap up.
That initial on-ramp and they
get out into the workforce,
they need to continue learning.
And Michelle shared about that a
little bit on Twitter or the one
day, um, just around that feeling of
how do I juggle doing the work for
clients, making sure it’s current and
continuing to wear myself and making
sure that what’s being delivered.
It’s still going to be current
by the time we ship it.
Um, you know, we’re really changing a lot
of things right now, and this is where
it can feel like a raging river at times.
So I’m trying to set the stage for how
do we have that proper work-life balance?
How do we live well in what
we’re doing and continue to
work on our own development,
work on developing developers.
So what could mentorship opportunities
with that look like and how can we
as a community create some of that.
In general, I want to give a great big
thank you to the WordPress community.
You were helping to onboard the
students in our program that
have been displaced by COVID.
You are welcoming them into the
community and on the next step,
in their pathway to a new career.
But also, I want to thank you for
what you have meant to me over the
years, Shane Reed and Peter you’ve
set the bar on company culture.
I thank you for that opportunity,
Zach, at the events calendar,
likewise, there was a lot of
personal development happening at me.
And you were open for that.
You have all supported me in my journey
to this point and also my students’
journey onto their next steps as well.
So we’re pressed community.
Thank you so much.
You can find us over at codedifferently.com.
You can find me on Twitter @courtneyengle
And I’ll be in the chat room.