Well I was sat here quite merrily going through the React I course on Codecademy, as one of my more immediate goals is to learn React as it seems to be the one front-end technology that I can learn that will most assist in making me more employable.
And then it decided to crash. So I figured it was a good time to do one of the blog posts I have on my to-do list (not yet powered by React).
Last week I went to my first London-based coding Meet-up.
Well, CSS anyway. CSS Meetup London, to give it its full name.
I had two aims. Firstly to learn about grid, which was one of the presentations. Secondly to meet some people in the industry. You know – networking.
I arrived early, into the offices of Badoo – a social networking company that I had never previously heard of, who were hosting the event, and supplying beer and pizza, within their rest area/canteen.
It wasn’t so easy to tell who was there because they worked there, and who was actually there for the presentations like myself. I grabbed a slice of absolutely amazing pizza and stood in the corner, a little awkwardly, hoping someone would note that I am a newbie and introduce themselves.
They didn’t. I had another slice of pizza and grabbed a beer. There were a few small groups talking to each other, but most people were sat by themselves, some staring into laptops (the guy I sat next to never paid any attention the whole time except to his laptop). I did attempt some small talk with a couple of people but I didn’t receive any more than an acknowledgement.
The presentations themselves were reasonably good. It isn’t easy to get up in front of a room and talk, especially about a technical subject for which you may receive some difficult questions.
The first talk was on CSS Grid, which is quite an exciting new specification coming out widely this March, I believe, which will allow for much more straight-forward layout structuring.
Flexbox has been a revelation to me as positioning could be troublesome previously. The hope is the Grid will be revelatory too.
The second talk was more abstract, questioning as to whether there is a war within CSS. I’m not going to attempt to explain it as I didn’t thoroughly understand it, only having done my CSS directly on stylesheets.
It was an interesting evening. I’m not going to rush back but when there is a subject matter being discussed that I am interested in I shall attend again.
There are plenty of other meet-ups that look interesting – there was one the following night for WordPress, where there was lots of comments saying “such a friendly bunch” or “thanks for making a newbie so welcome” – which is clearly what I was looking for. The CSS one doesn’t seem to be good for networking, though I do need to go back to find out what make of pizza that was.
I will definitely go to more meet-ups but I will try different groups. Especially if there are giving away free pizza! If I lived in central London I could probably get fed for free every night.
And yeah, it looks like I won’t be completing that React course today. Onto something else.