If you have met me in person you know that I tend to wear traditionally girly clothing. Dresses, skirts, sweaters, headbands and the like.
Today was the end of the first iteration for the new product team here at Levo League. We think it's super important to thank, not only the developers, but also the people building the business that makes this team necessary.
We all got together as a company (champagne optional) and for the first time held a Deployment Dance Party. We had so much fun we created a public repo on GitHub for you to hold your own. You can see it here, it supports Heroku and Capistrano currently, but it's just as easy to add your own commands. Pick a dance mix, and kick off your deployment toasting your success and sweet dance moves.
It was a fun party, we hope to keep improving the script with each one.
The last thing I wanted was a job. I've been independent for almost 5 years and I've loved the freedom of working with startups and taking small projects here and there while building things on my own. It has been super rewarding.
I started working with the Levo League a few months ago as an independent. Helping them to integrate their existing platforms. The thing that improved immediately upon working with them was my wardrobe, these ladies set a high bar. Another thing I noticed is that I loved working in their offices. I usually work at home, or from New Work City, however, I kept coming in and working right next to them.
They have an amazing team: all strong, accomplished, hilarious women who truly love what they are working on. Amanda Pouchot and Caroline Ghosn are a joy to be around, they respect the development process, and they both have a great vision.
I was helping them interview other developers for the CTO position, and that's when it happened. I had a funny feeling, and after some internal searching I realized I was truly sad at the thought of not working with them any more. They had jokingly talked about hiring me early on, and I jokingly told them I never wanted a job again. When they gave me first refusal before they offered the job to someone else I was overwhelmed with the thought that there couldn't be a better place for me. So, I accepted.
We agreed that projects like Girl Develop It, and Vasilia are important to me and should stay that way. We discussed how important open source is to the ecosystem of the internet, and anything we build that can be abstracted out will be open sourced. We are currently working with amazing developers, designers, and user experience experts to create an intuitive, responsive platform.
I'm so excited to explore this opportunity with the Levo League. Not only do they have exciting technical challenges, but they are doing something I really believe in. They really are all so passionate about creating an environment for women where they can come for help, advice, and mentorship regarding their careers. It's a logical step after the things I have done with Girl Develop It.
Hey all, I wrote about the 1/18 blackout protest for SOPA/PIPA and why I'm participating here. Now there is a super easy way for you to participate, even if you aren't a developer.
Drop the following code in between your two <HEAD></HEAD> tags on your site, your users will be redirected to the blackout page that describes what you are doing and why. Then, when the protest is over, simply remove the added code.
window.location = "http://protestsopa.org";
The protest is starting at 12am on 1/18, and lasts 24 hours. If you have any questions, let me know!
I am, and always have been, a fuck up. Ask anyone that has known me for more than five years and they will vouch for this. There are kids that learn how to swim by taking lessons, practicing in the shallow end, and then, when they are ready, make their way out to deeper waters confident they can stay afloat. There are also kids that see someone make a high dive one time on tv, run onto the diving board and face plant their first time in the water. I'm one of the latter, and though it's taken me nearly thirty years to get here, I'm okay with admitting it in mixed company.
The media makes this disposition seem quite glamorous, and people think it's exciting. The STNG Qs(my favorite), Dr Gregory Houses, Shawn Spencers and Junos. History has many we look up to, Oscar Wilde, Douglas Adams, George Carlin, Voltaire, Feynmen, Adams. In reality, for as many make it into the public eye, there are 50 more in desperate circumstance. We are the drug addicts, the desk throwers, the dysfunctional, unemployable, and homeless.
There is one trait, and besides the many good people that surround me it is the only thing that has kept me away from succumbing to the dangers of my temperament. That trait is the ability to forgive myself, even when it seems unbearable.
Very often, I do things that are extremely stupid. I think no matter what our personality type that happens to us every so often. I make a bad call when designing a product that hindsight shows me from a mile away, I put off a client with a sloppy email or a poor follow up, I miscalculate my monthly income in an astronomical way, or I drop my iPhone 4 on cement while running down the street in heels (for absolutely no good reason besides being dared or trying to catch an ice cream truck). Things like this used to cause me much pain, and stop me in my tracks unable to go forward from the shame I felt and the voice in my head telling me I should have known so much better. There would be absolutely no forward progress while I berated myself, sometimes looking in the mirror and asking repeatedly how it was possible for one person to be so stupid.
Time and experience taught me that if I kept up that type of behavior it not only would retard my progress it would endanger my ability to run my business and follow my career goals. I've learned to forgive myself no matter how spectacularly I fail, and that has enabled me to accomplish things and get to places that only existed in my wildest dreams of the future.
Many tout the benefits of "getting over it" and "moving on", however, I think the only way to describe this process is forgiveness. You are angry at yourself, for hurting yourself; just as you would be angry at someone else for hurting you. You let yourself down, you should have known better, and you were inconsiderate of your own needs, yet again. If we can't get past these emotions of guilt, anxiety, and discomfort we can't look back and gain what we can use from the experience.
The ability to fail intelligently is something I constantly strive for. In order to get to that point, you must be able to quickly regroup and do a post-mortem of your behavior, actions, and decisions. You need to be able to look yourself straight in the eye and say, "how is this going to go better next time?" You can't be afraid of a next time, you need to plan on it. To look intimidation in the face, and not be afraid to be an embarrassment to yourself all over again.
I found this excellent post by Rand Fishkin this week that illustrated how valuable this is, not only to yourself, in this case also to many others. The CEO of Seomoz, a Seattle based startup, shared his experience with going after funding and subsequently failing. His detailed analysis of his experience tells me that this isn't the first time he's tried something and not attained his goals (imagine?). Sharing his decisions, the actions at his company, the outcome and perceived consequences not only benefits him should he revisit this world again, it helps all of us who go down that road to understand more about what it means to succeed, and possible roads to failure.
It is very easy to talk about forgiveness, but many people are locked in a world where they cannot accept anything but perfection. Being a good software developer, product manager, computer engineer, or ice cream truck operator (for that matter) means being able to reflect on what you have done poorly and live your life in iterations. Because being good at something means never being perfect, it means seeing where you've done poorly and never doing it again because you care about, not only your work-product, but also yourself.
Hi, I'm Sara, and I've been a keyboard cowgirl since 1993.
My role as CTO of Levo League has given me the privilege of working with an amazing group of coders to build something we all believe in.
In 2010 my friend Vanessa and I started Girl Develop It because we think that the development community could use a few more ladies.
In 2011 I worked with Melanie Moore to found Elizabeth and Clarke, a subscription service to relieve the headache of the rote shopping experience
I think braces and semicolons are romantic, and being alive during the adolescence of the internet is a magical thing.