Recapping 2016

Last year I wrote my first recap post of accomplishments, travel and presentations I did in 2015 along with some goals for 2016. Looking back at some of my goals feels a bit like public shaming myself but it’s also a helpful reminder of what’s important to me and what I should try to make more time for in the upcoming year. It’s also amazing to me the accomplishments and events I can forget in a year’s worth of time.

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Invisible Disabilities: How creating an accessbile web benefits all

This post was written as an article for net magazine, it can be found in issue 278 (April 2016). 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were headed up to a high floor in a tall building…and the elevator was out? Fifteen flights of stairs later, you’re panting, out of breath and annoyed? Imagine yourself pushing a stroller or shopping cart and the entrance to your destination has no ramp, forcing you to awkwardly drag it up multiple stairs. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have the physical strength and capability to get up those steps in each situation, but what if you’re not? What if you’re in a wheelchair and stairs aren’t an option? Or you’re elderly and walking that many flights isn’t possible? What if you have a broken foot and can’t navigate steps on crutches? Situations like these can be a small nuisance for one person, but an immense barrier for another.

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Planning a conference – tales from a first-timer

Planning a conference can be one of the most time-consuming, difficult things you’ll ever do. But it can also be one of the most rewarding. This is my personal experience with planning my first one, Ela Conf. I learned so much along the way and hope I can be a resource for others who have had the idea to plan a conference or something of a similar scale. I considered breaking this post up into multiple posts but considering how long it’s taken me to publish, I’m going to keep it all as one. First, a little background about me and my event planning experience.

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Recapping 2015

I’ve never really been one for new year’s resolutions or even writing out any of my goals but a friend of mine suggested doing a 2015 recap and it sounded like fun so here goes nothin’. Since I didn’t have any goals written down for last year, I didn’t really have anything to compare to, so here’s a recap of my year according to my Google calendar, Instagram and Twitter.

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Recapping LadyHacks 2015

Last weekend was one of my favorite tech events, LadyHacks! In my previous post about LadyHacks, I talked about how this one was extra special to me since I was able to be a part of the planning committee. The feedback so far has been really great and we already have some ideas on how we can make next year’s event event better.
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LadyHacks Ⅲ

me presenting at LadyHacks 2014
The SheTechPHL team presenting at LadyHacks 2014. Photo credit: Corinne Warnshuis

LadyHacks is Philadelphia’s only women-only* hackathon. Well, it used to be the only women-only hackathon in Philly until femmehacks was born. So awesome to see more events like this one! The goal of LadyHacks is to introduce women, who are typically underrepresented at most tech events, to what a hackathon is in an inclusive and safe space. It offers women a chance to come together and work collaboratively on civic-minded projects.
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Using Sublime Text

Some tips & tricks..

Here’s a link to a blog post I wrote over at SheTechPHL a while back. I was listing some of my favorite Sublime Text tips and tricks. Since I’ve learned so many more since this post I’ll plan to do a follow-up here. The upcoming Philly Women in Tech Summit* is going to have a workshop dedicated to Sublime Text tips & tricks led by a friend of mine so I’m sure to have more tools under my belt after that.

*if you are a woman in tech in or near Philly you should definitely check this out!

Focusing on :focus

There is nothing that bothers me more than visiting a website and seeing that the CSS pseudo class :focus has been set to outline: none; The :focus element is so important for web accessibility since it assists keyboard only users to be able to tab through content and selectable elements. The following elements have the :focus state by default: a, button, input, and textareas but you can actually give any HTML element a focus state. When you remove the focus state you’re overwriting a built-in accessibility feature and there is no reason for it. The :focus element, is a CSS class, therefore you can use CSS to style it to fit into any design. It doesn’t have to be the built in browser outline, it can be whatever you’d like.
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