Brisbane Masterclass Day

Earlier this month, our Brisbane cohort gathered at the beautiful Newstead Studios to attend the much-anticipated Masterclass Day. With guest speakers sourced from the local dev community, it was an opportunity for the students to learn from industry experts about topics like machine learning, cloud, design systems, accessibility, and frontend frameworks.

While some students were feeling the heat with their React projects due the next day, they took this day as a chance to relax and get inspired by all the incredible pathways available in tech. “Like the students, I was looking forward to experiencing my first Masterclass Day with She Codes. It’s known for being one of the most fun days on the calendar of our Plus programs,” shared Caitlin, She Codes Community Facilitator. “The goal isn’t for the students to walk out having become masters on these topics. As always, it is for them to have fun discovering new possibilities from passionate developers in Brisbane’s thriving tech scene.”

After a brief kick-off speech, we split into groups for the first sessions from our two BHP speakers, Rob Excell and Joana Sousa.

Downstairs in the Arch Room, Rob ran an “Intro to Cloud” session where he went through fundamental concepts like cloud infrastructure, containerization, deployment pipelines, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) etc. It was interesting to see the scope of how such technologies work at BHP. This was Shelley Behen’s favourite session of the day: “I found the scalability of cloud and the idea of CI/CD fascinating. The fact that you can make changes to the code that morning and have it deployed to production by lunch time is incredible.”

One of the key takeaways from Rob was that the Cloud is rapidly growing and here to stay. It provides a “low barrier to entry” for deploying and hosting your code with pre-integrated services like AWS Beanstalk and Azure App Services. 

Upstairs, Joana Sousa delivered an “Intro to Machine Learning” talk which covered a range of intersecting concepts like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), deep learning, and data science. She used the example of understanding a car’s fuel consumption to demonstrate why ML is so powerful for solving such problems compared to traditional approaches.

From here, we began discussing Design Systems, a hugely anticipated workshop that the whole cohort joined in on. How can a design system help you to create better user interfaces faster? The cohort asked. Andrew Hill of intelliHR had some answers. As a design-focused engineer, Andrew maintains intelliHR’s custom design system and shared some ideas with the cohort on building repeatable UI’s.

This session tied in nicely with the next session “Accessibility and Inclusive Design: How to Build Technology Without Excluding People.” Larene Le Gassick, a wonderful speaker and community leader, left an impression on her audience, with many questioning their own unconscious biases when it comes to building software. In Katie Moss’s opinion, “Larene’s was a great session! I really enjoyed the context and resources on accessibility.”

To close the day, Matthew Martin ran a session on frontend JavaScript frameworks where he discussed their history, compared their key characteristics, and when you might choose to build with one over another. He and the attendees then live-coded a classic “to-do list app” in Angular together, so they could really see the differences in action.

And that wrapped up the day!

The Brisbane Plus cohort concludes on 7th December with their Showcase event. If you are in Brisbane and eager to get on the list please reach out to katebushell@shecodes.com.au. If you are in Perth and interested to run a workshop for their next Masterclass Day in 2022, get in touch with us today.

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