My weekend of #ladieslearningcode and #wotsTO

My weekend ended up being pretty booked solid — aren’t Septembers always a busy time of year? — with two great events going on each day.

On Saturday, I attended a Ladies Learning Code workshop, held at the Centre for Social Innovation at Bloor and Bathurst. This event was a creative, relaxed way to teach introductory HTML and CSS to a group of curious ladies. There were people from all backgrounds: marketing, publishing, blogging, to name a few, who wanted to learn more about coding. It’s a great idea, and the Ladies Learning Code organizers pulled it off with flying colours. Key to success was the 4:1 ratio of learners to experienced coders at each table.

For me, learning the interaction between HTML and CSS was an eye-opener. I’ve familiarized myself with HTML over the past two years, however, CSS remained a mystery. It was quite a rush to slowly create a better website as the day went on, adding features and design using the CSS. I’m more confident that I can learn on my own now (with the coders best friend, Google). Many thanks to the organizers of #ladieslearningcode for a top-notch day! If you are interested, check out the website or Twitter feed.

On Sunday, I volunteered at The Word on the Street at Queen’s Park. Always a highlight of my year is attending the festival and participating in the celebration of written word. At the Scotiabank Giller Prize Bestseller Stage, we had a full tent, with readers and fans coming to listen to Kenneth Oppel, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Michael Smith, and Frances Itani. There were more authors after my shift, but it was very exciting to be at such a popular venue and see the audience so rapt.

I also somehow managed to score five books, all hardcover for some reason, which was probably not very foresightful. I’m super pumped to have a copy of Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant, which collects her web comic in print. I’ve already read quite a bit — highly recommended for its hilarity in poking fun at history’s more colourful moments. Also bought The Perfect Order of Things by David Gilmour at the Thomas Allen tent — I decided I wanted to check out this quasi-autobiographical novel as soon as I read Steven Beattie’s review. Spacing Magazine once again had wonderful buttons and T-shirts. I have a major want-on for the East York neighbourhoods one. Is my birthday coming up soon? No? Darn.