New Coders at OpenGov Hack Night

This summer, Smart Chicago Collaborative is participating in the IgniTech Summer Program. Smart Chicago Interns Jessica Waller and Lissette Lagunas will be attending the OpenGov Hack Nights and writing about the different breakout groups.  – Dan O’Neil 

New Coders at OpenGov Hack Night

Every Tuesday evening from 6 – 8 pm, people in the technology industry or wanting to join the industry come together for Open Gov Hack Night at 1871 in downtown Chicago. OpenGov Hack Night is broken into a presentation followed by breakout groups. If you’re new to programming and want to learn how to code, open source guru Karl Fogel and Englewood Codes Director Demond Drummer are leading the New Coders breakout group to help you out.

New Coders – Karl Fogel & Demond Drummer 
OpenGov Hack Night 1/21/13

Breaking Out

At the end of hack night presentations, people break out into different groups to work. Usually Karl Fogel and Demond Drummer lead these sessions each Tuesday Night but unfortunately are not always able to make it. When this happens Randy Baxley takes over and leads the session. Anybody is free to join these groups no matter your experience. They actually recommend that everybody joins them at some point.

Running the training

New Coders gets started by recognizing each person in the group by how long they have been there, if they are new and what they would like to get out of the session. Everybody is free to speak their own opinions and put in different input of what they think the New Coders Group as a whole should do or just to ask questions. Here is one of the resources Steven Luker gave to the group to learn more about bootstrapping: The W3 Twitter Bootstrap Website Tutorial.

What New Coders learned this week


A couple of weeks ago during this session, New Coders talked about what they were working on in the previous sessions. Gi-Gi and Alex were suggesting using Chicago Data Portal  to make a website through Google. Many questions were asked and were encouraged to be asked by those that did not understand what had been going on prior to that night. The group discussed and taught the new-comers about Python, Ruby, CSS and HTML, and bootstrap. These are all script languages in technology but different from Java script. The group learned a bit more about what they were planning to do with building their website through Google but was stopped short in time due to catching up the new-comers to the group.  Many people are looking forward to returning to OpenGov Hack Night and joining the New Coders Group to find out what they plan to do and what they have already achieved.

To get involved

If you would like to join us for a way to communicate with others and learn new ways of advancing your experience in coding and programming please check out our website for a way to sign up. The New Coders Group will be looking forward to seeing you.