Self.conference 2015 Recap

Some of my favorite talks from self.conference, which was last weekend in Detroit:

Marc Nischan: Basic Git & Github for Designers, Visual Learners, and Everyone Else

I use Git on a daily basis, but often while feeling more or less like this:


dog with computer meme, caption "I have no idea what I'm doing"

Marc’s talk was a good antidote and gave me some helpful new metaphors for thinking about and explaining what Git does. Git for Visual is the website he built to go with his talk and it links to his Skillshare class + a free cheatsheet, both of which would be excellent resources for anyone looking to get more comfortable using Git.

Julie Cameron: Decoupling the Front-end through Modular CSS

I’ve gotten to see Julie speak plenty of times now, including a shorter talk on this topic, so I knew what I was in for: beautiful slides with an overwhelming amount of interesting information that would make me want to redo all of my CSS ever to be better/faster/stronger. I was not disappointed! Julie gave a great overview of several popular approaches to object-oriented CSS and I’m looking forward to learning more about each and trying out various methodologies. Here’s a whole scalable CSS reading list that looks really promising and Julie’s slides are online as well!


Aisha Blake: Creating a Safe Space: Embracing Diversity In The Workplace

Aisha is a good friend of mine and a co-organizer of Girl Develop It Detroit, so I was extra excited to see her present! She shared honestly about some of the adversity & obnoxiousness she’s faced as a Black woman in technology and gave lots of concrete examples of what companies and managers can do to improve working environments. I’m thrilled that she’s taking this talk on the road to Future Insights Live this week, because it’s a message that needs to be heard.


Sara Gibbons: Code #LikeAGirl

Sara is an awesome Girl Develop It Ann Arbor organizer and will be teaching Ruby for us at GDI Detroit later this month along with Aisha! She discussed her experiences in struggling to be herself in an industry that can actively discourage anyone but “brogrammers” from doing so, and made a very solid case for how diversity in tech benefits us all. My favorite slide:

Self.conference was a fantastic & inspiring experience that I’d recommend to anyone. The diversity of speakers & topics was refreshing and exciting, and I left feeling energized about my work and the future. I hope to attend again next year and for many years to come – but for that to happen, we’ll all need to pitch in. The conference fell short on funding this year and is seeking donations. If you value having a diverse and meaningful tech conference in the Midwest, please consider donating – and hopefully I’ll see you there in 2016!