Meredith Underell enjoys bringing people together to learn about computer technology. The former project manager, who lives in the Vancouver area, has worked as a freelance software developer for almost two years.
Underell serves as the Vancouver chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code. Founded in Toronto in 2011, Ladies Learning Code expanded to Vancouver in 2012 and now holds monthly workshops for computer-programming novices in the city. On February 22, Intro to HTML & CSS will take place at the HootSuite office.
As well, Underell is the co-organizer of Vancouver’s Code & Coffee (with Jennifer Cooper). Founded earlier this month, the Meetup group invites developers to come together for “creative code time”. The inaugural Code & Coffee event happened on January 21.
Underell graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics.
The Georgia Straight interviewed Underell via Skype.
Can you tell me a bit about your work as a developer?
I’m a freelance software developer. So, I take on client projects—websites or more back-end work—and that’s what I do on a daily basis.
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code?
I got involved with Ladies Learning Code because I really want to give back to the community. I want to be able to show others how fun working in tech can be. I’ve had fun for years now, and I want to be able to show others all the opportunities you can get by being in tech.
What has been the response in Vancouver to Ladies Learning Code’s workshops?
It’s been amazing, honestly. Mentors providing their time—it’s completely volunteer. The lead instructors giving their time, getting the word out there. We’ve only had positive feedback from people coming through us.
We’re already almost full for mentors for the February 22 workshop. We literally only have a few spot left for mentors, because that’s how much they want to help out. The community has just been amazing. We sell out our workshops as well.
What is Code & Coffee about?
Code & Coffee is really just about setting aside a couple hours a month where developers can just work on whatever they want to work on. So, if you want to try out a new technology, a new language, it’s just an opportunity to sit down and play around with different technologies, different languages. You can talk to one another and ask questions. That’s all it is.
I call it “creative code time”. So, there’s no deadlines. There’s nothing like that involved. It’s just your own time that you get to set aside that not a lot of us developers can always do.
What tech trends are you watching right now?