Category: computer science leadership

Where to find Birmingham’s tech networks

New to Birmingham and want to know where to find the techies? Or you’ve finished a first degree or training course and you want to know how to connect with other people in your field? In Birmingham, here are the three places you need to start looking to find them.

TechBirmingham’s community listings

TechBirmingham, the region non-profit coordinating and promoting the growth of the regional tech sector, has listings of the local tech organizations on its Community page. These include chapters of national organizations, such as the Project Management Institute, InfragardCode for America, and  Women Who Code .

You’ll also find local tech-focused groups such as the Red Mountain Makers and Steel City SQL.

Magic City Tech

MagicCityTech.org is the signup page for the Magic City Tech slack, a chat channel used by tech community organizers to coordinate events, share information and post jobs. An informal watercooler-style back channel, you’ll see everything from good React tutorials and case studies. to job postings for Scada and R programmers. The number of channels has grown significantly in 2017 & 2018

Meetup

Most of the local tech interest groups list their meetings on Meetup. (most of these are on the TechBirmingham community page). These interest groups range from language specific interest groups (javascript, .NET, to interest groups focused on startups and development)) A new group forming up,  CSBhm,  is looking to connect the computer science and technology educator community. 

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Growing a diverse tech community in Birmingham

Because I was talking to a number of women at the We Rise Women in Tech conference this weekend, (June 24th) about the mechanisms necessary to make a given tech community penetrable by people who are not part of the dominant culture, (in Birmingham, white Caucasian hetero male), I want to park links to some of the organizations that I was introduced to who are developing the essential contact and education networks.

African American:

Latino:

5 LGBTQ organizations (article behind the link)

Steal this list! Build the community! My observations from WebGrrls in the late nineties, and now with Women Who Code, is that when you are a minority group within a given community, working to grow your presence in a regional industry, national and international organizations help. A lot.

Call for interest – Women Who Code Birmingham Chapter

Hello!

If you’re here, you’re interested in forming a chapter of Women Who Code, here in Birmingham.

Women Who Code‘s key initiatives include:

  • Free technical study groups (Ruby, Javascript, iOS, Android, Python, Algorithms)
  • Connecting our community with influential tech experts and investors
  • Career and leadership development
  • Increasing female speakers and judges at conferences and hackathons
  • Increasing participation in the tech community

To join as a founding member, sign-up at Women Who Code BirminghamOnce we hit twenty local women, we’ll set a date for a first organizing meeting.

Edit – Monday May 25th 2015 – local chapter is now live! We’re starting in on Ruby on Rails in June. First Git class running on June 1st.

The Google Story

The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our TimeThe Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time by David A. Vise
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tells the Google story, starting with the biographies of the two founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The two started with Sergey Brin’s initial insight as to how to determine link popularity (modeled on scientific paper ranking by citation counts from other papers) and then worked out how to index the existing internet (in 1998-1999) and return reasonably good search results. Given that decent search was so badly needed at the time, they had a tool that worked well – and that exploded out of the gate. Has a decent explanation as to how Google Ad Words work, and the what the resulting revenue stream has enabled the company to do.

An excellent primer for those who would like to learn more about Google.

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