Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open-source projects, their maintainers, and the entire community of contributors. It’s a straightforward way to get into open source by making just 4 contributions to open-source projects! Not only do you get free swag, but many newbie-friendly resources are shared. So go forth and git committed! See what I did there?
‘Tis the season for conferences! 📍
Don’t ask me why but fall tends to be when there are conferences galore. Most of the ones I wanted to attend are in SF, and I’m not prioritizing giving talks or anything these days, so, um yeah, RIP ☠️. But hey, I highly recommend attending them if you can make it work. Plus, a lot of them offer scholarships to underrepresented folks!
Trying out a new productivity app ☀️
I basically live and die by my calendar, and historically, I would use Fantastical (calendar) & Todoist (to-do list) to stay on top of things. However, I have other apps I use that aren’t really captured in Todoist (Asana, Notion, GitHub, etc.), and Sunsama consolidates all these together in one place and lets me allocate time to each task each day. The app has helped me be more realistic about what I can accomplish each day basically. Preparing the next issue of my newsletter is an item for today, for example! 💯
Recapping Latinx Heritage Month 💃🏽
Another one for the books! I spent a lot of time sharing content on LinkedIn, and I spoke at three events. I also celebrated reaching 10K followers on LinkedIn which was pretty darn cool.
Below are some highlights from the month.
One caveat I'll share is that I didn't have the time to publish all the long-form blog posts. About eight were planned, and I only got through two drafts 🙈... I still plan to publish them, but I'll admit I enjoy hosting events more as of late, especially if it's audio only.
As part of Latinx Heritage Month, I also offered free mentoring calls. 📞
In total, I had eight calls, all with men or women of color, which was pretty awesome to reflect on because that's the audience I want to serve.
They were all looking for career advice, job search advice, or niche domain knowledge.
Below is a high-level overview of who these calls served and what was covered:
GitHub project that hosts a Markdown list of tech conferences that provide diversity travel grants/scholarships.
Looking for contributions and maintainers who want to take it to the next level.
(User Research Stage) ERG HQ 🕊
ERG HQ is an idea I have for an online platform that ERG leaders can’t live without, providing helpful resources, community, and guidance to the internal leads of employee resource groups at tech companies.
I am looking for leads of employee resource groups at tech companies to have user research interviews to understand their pain points and review existing ideas and a prototype. I'd be willing to pay ERG leads $10 for 30 minutes of their time.
GitHub project that will host a website directory of Latina software engineers at the student, IC, and leadership levels to increase visibility and access to valuable opportunities.
This project is JUST getting started. I have an initial Kanban board with some to-do items, but that's about it.
Looking for contributors and maintainers willing to collaborate on initial decisions before diving into this more.
AMA Corner 💬
Trying out something new where I give out career advice.
Here's a question I got from a listener at a recent LinkedIn audio event:
I graduated from a data science training program and am starting to job search. I’m getting to the final rounds but keep being rejected before the offer stage. I know I struggle with technical interviews. I'm wondering if I should start looking into contractor roles at this point.
➤ You’ve only been interviewing for almost 3 months, so it’s not too long, and if you're getting to the final rounds, that does mean you're close.
➤ Alternatively, try out new strategies (networking at local events, getting your resume reviewed, more portfolio projects, etc.) to help boost your profile and provide that extra “oomph” you need for the hiring team to be excited about giving you an offer.
➤ Since you’re struggling with the technical interviews, consider asking if there’s an alternative assessment they’d be willing to offer or use Glassdoor to filter out companies that use alternative technical interviews that play better to your strengths.
➤ Based on your LinkedIn profile, it’s hard to see if you can apply the skills you’ve learned in real-world scenarios. To rectify this, you can use a platform like Catchafire to volunteer your skills to local nonprofits, contribute to open source, or create a project that aligns with your unique passions.
➤ Spicy Take 🌶 If after 3 more months of hard-core job searching, you're still not getting the kind of position you want, it's okay to settle. Whether that means a lower salary, lower tier company, or a contractor role, just remember to look at it as a stepping stone to something better and make sure to have a long-term plan to job search again after 6 or more months. As long as the position has the relevant title you wanted, that is better than no job at all, IMO.
Got a question that's been on your mind? Reply with your question, and I'll feature it in the next issue with my personal advice.
What I'm Looking Forward To 🔜
Dog Costume Contests 🐾 👻
Since high school, I've been half-assing it when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. In recent years, I would go for my repeat outfit — a Slytherin sweater with a matching tie — and call it a day.
However, I've been attending more dog-themed events in my free time, and it turns out dressing up your dog is a whole thing, so for the first time, I'm giving that a go. (◕ᴥ◕ʋ)
My Corgi Luna and I will dress up as Retsuko from the Netflix show Aggretsuko for two upcoming dog costume contests at Corgi Beach Day and South Park Doggie Adventureland.
I will be Retsuko by day 👩🏽💼, your overworked run-of-the-mill accountant with a blue sweater vest. Luna will be Retsuko by night 👩🏽🎤️, the lead pop star heavy metal singer of OTM Girls.
I don't have any pictures of us dressed up yet, but I'll share them next time. In the meantime, here are some pictures of Retsuko, so you understand where I'm coming from.
That's a wrap! 🙌🏽
That wraps up my second issue.
I’m always open to feedback and suggestions on content as I get this little newsletter ramped up.