Jennifer Cooper joined SocialChorus as our first Vancouver developer. She’s constantly involved in the Vancouver community through her Meetup, Code & Coffee and by providing a space for people to grow and learn.
Most people will tell you that the secret to career happiness is finding a job you’re passionate about. When you love what you do, you invest more time in your job and are incessantly trying to improve your own skill.
Jennifer Cooper has found her dream career in software development and wants to guide people to find their passion. It’s no surprise that her and a friend (Meredith Underell) formed Code & Coffee in Vancouver to provide a collaborative space for developers to grow and write code.
Though Meetups like VanRuby and Pixel Crafters previously dominated the technology Meetup space, Code & Coffee is one of the only Meetups where engineers that code in any language are welcomed to join to improve their craft.
Recently, I spoke with Jennifer about her popular Meetup and how she hopes to grow Code & Coffee.
How did you first become involved with Code & Coffee?
Code & Coffee really took off from the start. I felt like we solved a problem a lot of people were experiencing. At Code & Coffee we try to provide a collaborative and inclusive environment that encourages open discussion and innovation.
What makes you most excited about the Meetup?
Usually our events start with a series of short talks from community members, followed by a work and/or discussion session during which people spend time on their projects either alone or in groups. Despite our members spanning many different designations within the industry, we see many people collaborating, learning and developing new ways of thinking about programming and technology in general.
What are the Meetups usually like? The environment?
It’s also very diverse. The atmosphere allows engineers, developers, and enthusiasts of all levels, ages and backgrounds to come together and feel welcome. I’m also proud that our Code & Coffee events are almost always nearly 50% women.
What do you hope Code & Coffee accomplishes for the community?
There can be a tendency toward dogmatism and software snobbery and we want to help guide the industry away from these types of behaviors.
I also want to encourage the community to use the speaker series as an opportunity to spread their ideas (as a community stage). A lot of people are speaking for the first time at Code & Coffee or are speaking on a brand new topic, and we hope their speaking experience will help them feel more comfortable sharing their ideas with larges audiences in the future.
Any inspiring words or tips for people trying to break into the software engineering field?
My advice is to stick with it if you love it and try to find the support you need to keep heading in the right direction.
Join Jennifer and two recently added organizers, Brooke Zelenka (also a SocialChorus developer) and Rose Cass, today to get more involved in the Meetup community. Code & Coffee is a great way to meet smart, ambitious people that love to code.