I Heart Boston Meetups!

I've participated in Boston PHP Meetup for close to 6 years now. Gene Babon, the leader of both Boston PHP and East Boston Tech Meetup, is one of the best teachers I've ever had. It's been my extreme pleasure to take classes from him and now, through his mentorship and example,to lead virtual classes myself.

  • Client: Boston PHP Meetup, East Boston Tech Meetup
  • Technology: HTML5, CSS3, Git, GitHub, PHP, JavaScript, WordPress and more...

Bringing New Developers and Designers Into the Fold

Gene Babon, leader of both Boston PHP and East Boston Tech Meetup, has been my mentor in online tech learning and my friend for many years. I've been a member of Boston PHP Meetup since 2011 and have learned so much from participating in their virtual book studies. While my own skills have expanded into new arenas, I've also been grateful to share my newfound knowledge by mentoring people new to design and development technology, I've begun leading new sessions as Senior Percolator for Boston PHP and more recently, East Boston Tech Meetup.

The first class I led was Git Lunch 2 with Boston PHP Meetup, where I and others studied Sitepoint's Jump Start Git by Shaumik Daityari. The first class with East Boston Tech Meetup is still going on; Gene's leading and we're studying Aquent Gymnasium's Modern Web Design. It's helping me to get up to speed with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

In January 2018 I will be co-leading (with Gene) Intro to WordPress. I do the work along with the class, whether I'm proctoring it or not; often, the material is new to me as well--for example, I'm just now delving seriously into learning WordPress and leading other aspirants towards a basic comprehension through studying our PDF text, The Tao of WordPress by Jeff Starr. It's going to be a great experience!

My Process for Participating in and Leading Virtual Classes

  • I find a subject that I'd like to study and jump right in, or I find a subject I'd like to lead and come up with a few options for online texts.
  • While planning on leading a group, Gene and I discuss my suggestions regarding subject matter and online material that would be a good fit for either group (Boston PHP has more seasoned developers, while the new East Boston Tech Meetup has a lot of new people).
  • When learning new subjects, I've found it imperative to interact with the rest of the group--developers and designers of all skill levels. Some of the Boston PHPers are seasoned, professional web developers already. We try to help each other through the stickier parts of the course material.
  • Gene and I communicate often during the virtual classes, both through email and the message boards, to determine how best to present the material and as importantly, to improve retention rates among e-learners.
  • After wrapping up a session, Gene and I review how the class went with those who completed it and strive to make the next virtual experience even better.

What Gene Had to Say...

Vickie has been a member of Boston PHP Meetup since 2011. During that time she has attended 12 Meetups, all virtually. She has been active in our virtual self-study group initiative as a participant demonstrating her interest in learning new technologies that will help advance her career.

In 2017 she volunteered to lead a group in the capacity of Senior Percolator. She guided 48 participants in learning Git and GitHub technologies for monitoring version control and sharing code bases. In her role as Senior Percolator, Vickie monitored a discussion board daily and provided updates and feedback via weekly group messages. As a result of her efforts seven members, including herself, completed the entire eight-chapter course.

Vickie is self-motivated, eager to learn and enjoys collaborating. I'm glad Vickie is on my team, and you will be too, if you are a manager looking to hire for both technical competence and team collaboration.

Gene Babon,
Front End Developer and Project Leader,
Co-Founder of Boston PHP and East Boston Tech Meetup,
Tech, Workforce & Learning Lab Instructor For
Maverick Landing Community Services