It’s my great honor and pleasure to formally introduce to the world a program, project, and community, Vue Vixens! We are also very happy to launch this new blog, kindly hosted by our friends at Dev.to!
Let me tell a little about the history of the project and how its success has caught me by surprise. I’ve been aware for several years of the existence of various initiatives to help introduce women to programming via the various framework communities I frequent — Django Girls (Python), Rails Bridge (Ruby), and ng-Girls (Angular) are just a few. After having seen the good that they can do by working within a given community, and after having worked with ng-Girls in Paris, it struck me that the Vue.js community needed such an initiative, so I decided to launch one. I ran the idea by Vue Core Team member and genuinely amazing developer Sarah Drasner:
I didn’t want to call it ‘Vue Girls’ or some such name, as I want to be more transgender friendly and I’ve never liked being called a ‘girl’— so following on Sarah’s hint of alliteration, I struck on the name of Vue Vixens — sassy and fierce, with a foxy flavor. I created a logo and launched the program on the big stage at Vue.js Amsterdam. To my astonishment, the program — which hadn’t even hosted a mini-workshop yet — was met with great enthusiasm in Europe, garnering many tweets, DMs, and pleas over email to start programs there.
Our first formal activity took place at the Vue.js USA conference in late March 2018 where I handled the conference’s diversity scholarship as one of the conference’s community partners, gathering entrants for a free ticket to the conference and picking 5 winners out of 54 entries. We also had our first mini-workshop before the keynote on the first day of the conference, filling two tables of enthusiastic women programmers and working together to build a mobile app using the NativeScript Playground. In 20 minutes, every attendee built a ‘pet-finding’ mobile app and had it deployed on their phone.
We were having by far the most fun in that room in the morning, making a lot of noise and socializing — to my surprise, many workshop attendees remained at that table throughout the day, forming a little community spontaneously on their own.
A feather in our cap was that Sarah Drasner’s tweet about my talk and the launch of the program trended for a time as the most popular at the conference:
So where is this program going? We are enhancing the standard day-long-workshop format perfected by ng-Girls by providing a three-pronged program:
A selection of mini-workshops - we call them skulks, as that's a group of foxes - that can be done as a breakfast or a lunch-n-learn
Free, full day workshops associated with conferences, done either before or after the main conference days
Consultation and management for conference diversity initiatives, including the creation of a scholarship fund to help attendees offset their conference travel and hotel costs.
To this end, we have gotten to work. To date, a half year after being founded, we have hosted eight events, from Portland to Paris, directly educating over 100 women already. We have many more events scheduled for this Fall including our very first full-day event in Argentina! We are ready with content and swag: attendees get pins and stickers, and mentors get t-shirts! I’m particularly grateful to Progress, my employer, who has generously given me the budget for this great swag and is very supportive of the project:
All of this work has generated a community, whom you can find on our Slack channel. And we are everywhere! A group in Argentina, led by our Regional Director the Awesome “SuperDiana” in Buenos Aires, has launched their own Vue Vixens meetup and has already generated solid interest and support within the Argentina Vue community. Our MVP, CTO and fantastic partner, Natalia Tepluhina in Ukraine, has worked tirelessly to create workshop content, to enhance the website, and to extend the program.
We are proud to have partnered with Particle.io, makers of the Photon, who have generously provided us with IoT kits that we already used in Paris and will use again in New York. We have gotten support from software companies offering us free services such as Typeform and Storyblok (a real godsend to a community on a budget!) Growing rapidly, we are also working to become a Private Foundation, affiliated with Progress Software, and have formed a board of directors to oversee our activities. Prominent amongst the members is the founder of Vue.js, Evan You, as well as CEO of Progress, Yogesh Gupta and other luminaries. Learn more about our team https://www.frontendfoxes.org/team.
Yogesh and Loren, CEO and CMO of Progress, work on a mini workshop using the NativeScript Playground to build a mobile app, at the ProgressNEXT conference lunch'n'learn skulk.
Vue Vixens is ready, willing, and able to help you with your conference’s outreach programs, to host workshops, and to generally inspire badassery in the Vue community. Need a speaker? We can help! You can help us, too! Join us as mentors, partners, and students! Remember, anyone can be a mentor and a content producer. The golden rule of a Vue Vixens event is this (as formulated by Superdiana):
Vue Vixens Workshops are ALWAYS free and ONLY for women or those who identify as such.
Anyone can be a mentor!. We prefer a person affiliated with Vue Vixens, however, to be the leader of a Vue Vixens Skulk. Women are our target for workshops but we usually recruit from the conference speakers to help out and it's a great experience.
For the Vue Vixens skulk Sign ups, we prefer for you to use our sign up form - that way we can help properly filter sign ups to ensure the real purpose of a diversity offering.
Hope to see you soon, at an event near you!
2020 Update Vue Vixens Inc. is now Front-End Foxes Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity as an educational nonprofit, and our information is on our updated website: https://www.frontendfoxes.org.