Write/Speak/Code - Own Your Expertise

An all day workshop for women and non-binary coders, customized to empower you as a leader in tech.


Own Your Expertise - SF - Speak Your Truth




Slack HQ - San Francisco, CA


February 24th, 2018 - 9 am to 6 pm


Participant - I attended with my co-worker Angela


Write/Speak/Code is on a mission to increase the visibility and leadership of women and non-binary coders through thought leadership, conference speaking, open source contributions, career development, personal growth and self-care.

Workshop Content

Learn to own your expertise and present yourself and your accomplishments with confidence. This workshop will help you think more expansively about your knowledge and experience, laying the foundation for you to convert your expertise into thought leadership and become a conference speaker and open source contributor.In this workshop, you’ll go through a few exercises around our theme, “Speak Your Truth”, generate a list of topics you can write or speak about, present yourself as an expert, and get introduced to writing, speaking, and coding for open source. The workshop will also have new exercises for those who have previously attended.

Below are the notes I took from the session. I loved how engaging it all was!


5 things that inspire you

  1. Nolan
  2. Becoming a leader in tech as a Latina
  3. How accessible the web is
  4. Making software engineering more accessible
  5. Mentoring others new to the field

5 words that describe you

  1. ambitious
  2. futurist
  3. non-trusting
  4. resourceful
  5. idealistic

5 things that you want

  1. more impactful job
  2. more opportunities to speak at conferences
  3. being recognized as a top person in the web industry
  4. helping Nolan and my family succeed
  5. a more sustainable democracy

Story You Love

  • The IT Crowd
  • All the people are working in IT and are super nerdy and awkward sometimes but very funny
  • They were seen as non-relevant and not as important since the show was made in the early 2000s but now we have a very small group of people actually end up with a lot of power
  • The 5 Languages of Love
  • It’s about understanding how different people communicate and express warmth towards each other
  • Applies to a lot of different people


3 characters that you relate to

  • Shuri from Black Panther
  • Betty from Ugly Betty
  • Hermonine from Harry Potter
  • Samantha from Dear White People

3 characters you want to be

  • David from AI
  • Idris from Luther

Boundary Bullseye

Think about your personal boundaries when it comes to sharing the truth.
  • Self
  • Nolan/Family
  • Internet/Strangers - via blog
  • Friends
  • Acquaintances

I am…

  1. always thinking about the long-term goal
  2. completely in love with my partner
  3. feeling good about the relationship with my family
  4. Latina
  5. engineer
  6. a unicorn
  7. writer
  8. speaker
  9. resourceful as fuck
  10. movie addict

I was…

  1. insecure
  2. too assimilated into American culture
  3. not satisfied with my love life
  4. preppy
  5. a tennis player
  6. a swimmer
  7. a teacher’s pet
  8. RPG game addict

What Brought You Here Today

  • Uber express - my driver was deaf and the people riding with me were chill and quiet - I was just texting with my boyfriend the whole time because he’s really funny in the afternoon
  • I got up at around 7 but stayed in bed until 7:15 am and waited to hear back from a company because they’ve been ghosting me basically
  • I then got ready and realized my laundry basket was still in my roommates’ room
  • I heard about it and want to make the most of my Saturdays. I’m still so early in my career that spending Saturdays developing myself is still pretty easy to do and doesn’t feel like I’m overworking myself
  • I grab any opportunities I can develop myself
  • I just saw it as an opportunity to develop myself like a long Meetup session
  • It’s also reassuring to be in a room full of all women and non-binary folks
  • I got into coding back in high school. I was set on studying biology but then I realized I didn’t love it enough to want to be with a bunch of pre-med students and that’s the path that most people were taking. Computers and biology were always my things so I decided bio-informatics. Then coding.


  • 2012 - got interested - started taking online courses through Codecademy and Code School
  • 2013 - started studying computer science in college and my blog with basic dev tutorials
  • 2014 - design, pet projects, prepping for coding bootcamps
  • 2015 - first job, first talk, bootcamp
  • 2016 - freelancing, mentoring, got my bachelors, lots of speaking and conferences, product management course
  • 2017 - masters in computer science
  • 2018 - speaker, mentor, software engineer - turning 22

Success Story

  • situation or problem that needed to be addressed was having trouble finding my first job/internship
  • what you did about it so I started with the conventional route of applying to jobs online but on the side, I was actually preparing to submit talks at conferences and Meetups
  • results of what you did I realized that getting a job interview right out of college without knowing anyone at the company and lacking that friendly intro is very difficult. And what happened instead is that after presenting on web design at a local conference, a few people reached out to me afterward and asked me if I was available so I was actually able to get three interviews from that one talk and it made all the difference.
  • strategic impact on the company they got a new hire
  • what skills or strengths did you use public speaking, passionate about web design

Persuasive Storytelling

  • What is
  • introduce your vision
  • not getting the job
  • What could be
  • play up the contrast
  • online postings vs alternative methods like Meetups in person and conferences
  • Call to action
  • presenting argument that acts on vision
  • there are other ways to get a job

Thesis Story

  • goes back to having alternatives ways of finding an opportunity
  • being resourceful as fuck

Identify projects



  • Git/GitHub
  • JavaScript
  • Unity
  • Angular
  • Electron
  • TypeScript
  • NPM
  • JAMstack
  • Open Source
  • Sketch 3
  • UI Design
  • Keynote
  • InVision
  • SASS
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Public Speaking
  • Mentoring
  • Agile

Identify Roles

  • designer
  • student
  • mentor
  • developer
  • speaker

Identify Strengths

  • public speaking
  • breaking down complex topics
  • web design
  • resourcefulness


  • getting taken seriously
  • networking
  • not feeling so isolated



  1. Being a Latina in the tech industry
  2. My first talk - story about how I got my first job
  3. long-term coding bootcamp programs that exist
  4. becoming a mentor - mentor programs out there
  5. my first experience as a maintainer for a very active GitHub repo
  6. why Elon Musk should not be idolized


  1. experience applying for jobs and failing miserably
  2. first experience as maintainer for large open source project
  3. our perception of highly successful people and how it shapes our industry
  4. PWAs 101
  5. macOS tips and tricks
  6. giving back to open source


  1. pre-bootcamp
  2. tech conferences with diversity grants
  3. prominent women of color in conferences
  4. freeCodeCamp/guides
  5. Thinkful repos
  6. Out of Office repos
  7. Write/Speak/Code repos
  8. Techqueria repos

Breakout Session - CFPs

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What do they think/know now?
  3. What do you want them to know? What will they take away from your presentation?
  4. Why are you a great person to tell this story?

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