django girls den haag 2016 welcome speech

March 5th, 2016

Given on March 5, 2016 at Django Girls Den Haag 2016 in Den Haag.

Welcome, everyone!

We are thrilled that you're all here. Some of you have come far to be here today with us and we really appreciate it. We have people from all over the Netherlands!

I also wish to thank our sponsors. Without the sponsors this event just wouldn't be possible. Thank you: Amazon, Elastic, KPMG and GingerPayments!


Today is all about learning. You're about to learn programming, which is a completely new skill for most of you. It's going to be exciting. And some of it will be difficult. Learning *is* about pushing your boundaries, and it takes effort to learn anything.

I know it will seem as though your coaches know everything. Later today you might be asking yourself: "how am I supposed to master all this? There is so much new information here!" You may feel overwhelmed. But I promise you that every programmer in this room, myself included, has been through that. It's completely normal, and you're on the right track. So don't feel bad about that!

I want you to make mistakes today. Making mistakes is a good thing - whenever you make a mistake you learn something.

And don't hesitate to ask questions. If you get an answer that you don't fully understand, keep asking! Don't settle for answers you don't understand.

Finally, don't work so hard that you forget to take a break and get to know the people around you!


I will now introduce the organizing team. Raise your hand when you hear your name.

So I'm Martin, you've been getting my emails. We also have Chris. Robbie. Alexandra. And Tom.

So we are the organizers and you might think this means we know what we're doing. But no. We're just a bunch of software developers. We've never tried to organize an event for 100 people before.

Speaking for myself I had many moments of self doubt. How are we going to find a space big enough to host the workshop? How are we going to find enough volunteers to be coaches? How are we going to find all of you?

We made a lot of mistakes. And we learned from them.

We did it together as a team. It took effort, but it was also a pleasure.


I hope all of you have met your coach by now. We have 26 coaches with us today. They are nice enough to spend their Saturday to make Django Girls possible, isn't that awesome? They've *also* come from all over the country.

Please raise your hand when you hear your name.

Could we have a round of applause for the coaches?


Django Girls is a global initiative. It all started two years ago at a technical conference in Berlin. It was a big international conference with people from all over Europe. Now you should know that IT conferences are very male dominated. Two of the participants of that conference, the founders of Django Girls - Ola and Ola, had a simple idea: what if we organize a workshop for beginners - and for women! So they organized the very first Django Girls in 2014.

Since then it has spread to 57 countries. There have been over 100 events already. This is the sixth one in the Netherlands.

More than 3,500 women have participated! Many have gone on to become coaches. And you remember that very first Django Girls workshop? 80% of the participants there have organized their own Django Girls events since then in their country.


Now for some practical information.

Today's workshop lasts from 9 to 5pm. You can find the schedule for today on the posters.

The bathrooms are right around the corner, out that door and to the right.

We have coffee, tea and snacks available now. We have a limited number of cups, so please try to reuse your cup!

We have lunch coming in later on. It will be served in the lobby.

We have a mystery event in the afternoon.

We're a bit unsure of the wifi capacity with so many people using it all at once. So try to be gentle with the wifi connection. In case of problems it's possible to do big parts of the tutorial offline. Your coaches also have a copy of all the files on usb sticks you need today so you don't have to download them.

Last but not least we have a code of conduct. The code of conduct is in place to ensure that everyone can feel safe at our event. You can find the full text on one of the posters. If you see anyone breaking the code of conduct, please talk to one the organizers!


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