Intro to GraphQL (with React)Nov 21, 2023
Basics of GraphQL queries, mutations in React, and why use GraphQL vs. Restful APIs.
Rachel Fischoff (she/they) is a full-stack software engineer at Corvus Insurance and works with elixir, Elm, GraphQL, and Postgres daily. She is a former Collab Lab participant from TCL-13 in Fall 2020 and used to help organize these tech talks. This is truly a full circle moment. Prior to changing careers to engineering, Rachel spent decades in restaurants and non-profits.
Testing components in React using CypressAug 8, 2023
In this session, we'll explore the fundamentals of testing components in React using Cypress. Additionally, we'll provide a brief review of end-to-end testing and discuss the distinctions between end-to-end testing and component testing. The aim is to help you understand when and how to use each approach effectively.
About our speaker: Shawn Harris is a Sr. Technical Solutions Engineer at Cypress.io, a coding bootcamp graduate, and a cancer survivor. She created the first Employee Resource Group at her company and is its president. Shawn's passion for going to the gym and fostering inclusive tech cultures is matched only by her love for cooking with loved ones and spreading laughter!
Words Over Code: Grow Your Impact And Career Through WritingJul 11, 2023
Words over code? Yawn, right?
You might think that writing is a tedious task best left to authors and
ChatGPT. But consider this: what if improving your writing could make
you a better thinker, more effective communicator, and grow your career?
The truth is writing well helps us communicate
effectively, organize our thoughts, and build relationships. It's a tool
we use more frequently than we realize, and yet, often overlook. In
this talk, we will delve into the often-underestimated role of writing
in the life of an engineer. I will guide you through understanding not
just the importance of writing, but how to leverage it to become more
effective in your current role and fuel your career growth.
Expect to walk away with practical, easy-to-implement
strategies that will improve your writing by teaching you how to respect
your reader. Maximize your effectiveness and unlock your career
potential by improving this valuable skill.
About Our Speaker: Chris is a Senior Engineer at Datadog, living in New
York. With a career spanning finance, cryptocurrency, and SaaS sectors,
he has gathered a wealth of experience and insight. His professional
journey has led him to renowned companies like Zapier and now Datadog,
where he leads multiple engineering teams. His current work revolves
around developing self-service data analytics tools for internal
stakeholders. When he's off duty, you'll likely find him embracing the
joys and challenges of chasing his two young children around.
What window.requestAnimationFrame can teach us about building for the web.?Jun 27, 2023
I admit I’m old school. I’ve been building for the web
almost since it was first invented. We built useful, interesting, and/or
fun stuff without frameworks in those days because, well, there were no
frameworks! And because we had to, we got to know the built-in browser
APIs. So let’s explore one such API: window.requestAnimationFrame. It’s been around since 2011, but a lot of web developers haven’t even heard of it.
And that’s a shame because it’s super handy and has a lot to teach us
about how web browsers work and, consequently, about building for the
has been hacking websites together since 1995 and professionally since
was first introduced. He’s built stuff using frameworks for companies
including Digg, Disney, Apple, and Zapier, but enjoys just as much if
not more building software with no frameworks at all. Andrew makes his
home in beautiful Portland, Oregon where he spends his working time on Assistiv Labs and The Collab Lab.
Intro to GraphQL with TypescriptMay 10, 2023
Interested in dabbling in GraphQL, but don’t know where to start? We’ll walk through the basics of the anatomy of a GraphQL Query, defining GraphQL Data Schema and Resolvers, as well as using GraphQL Code Generator to make your life easier when integrating with a Typescript project.
About our speaker: Jennifer is a Software Engineer at Finley, architecting, building, and scaling the first capital provider-borrower relationship platform for the debt capital markets. As a former Collabie (The Collab Lab Participant) and Collab Lab Mentor, Jennifer is passionate about helping early career devs “level up” to get their first job and beyond 🚀
Building Next-Generation Apps with Generative AIApr 11, 2023
Generative AI is transforming everything, and it couldn't be easier to build with. Whether you're utilizing AI to make your coding workflows more productive or integrating AI features into the apps you build, we will cover the essentials you need to know to make the most of this AI renaissance for your coding career.
Steve Sewell is the Co-founder and CEO of Builder.io, the headless CMS with a figma-like drag & drop interface, and the company behind popular open source projects like Qwik and Partytown.
End to End Testing with CypressMar 14, 2023
This talk will provide an introduction to the Cypress end-to-end testing framework. We'll cover the benefits of E2E testing and then do a short demo using a Collab Lab cohort's project.
Nick Taylor is a Staff Software Engineer focusing on front-end technologies and tooling with a growing interest in serverless and edge computing. He currently works on the ecosystem team at Netlify focusing on web frameworks.
Changing careers? A new professional identity is critical to your successFeb 14, 2023
Branding yourself during the job search is about creating a career identity for the purpose of landing a new job in tech. When you create a new professional identity, you learn to really ‘own’ the new role you are applying for instead of leaning into a narrative around lack of work experience.
When you own the identity of your new role in tech (ex. Software Engineer) EVEN if you have less than one year of experience in that field, you effectively create an image of yourself as a potential fit, helping the hiring manager see you as a real candidate for the position.
About our speaker:
Nice, to meet you! I’m Anna Miller, your guide to launching a career in tech.
I'm a Career Coach specializing in helping career changers go from overwhelmed job seekers to landing job in tech.
With 10+ yrs experience working in tech, I've been through 7 job searches myself, to learn a great deal about the job search process. If you are looking to grow your confidence in getting the job you want, asking for more money, or finding a more fulfilling career path, let’s talk!
Building Design SystemsApr 14, 2022
Developing and maintaining Design Systems is a very rewarding task that takes time and effort. In this talk, we will cover some topics to understand what we need to consider for building accessible, consistent and flexible UI component libraries that empower users to build better UI experiences.
About our speaker
Juan Andrade works at Khan Academy as part of the Frontend infrastructure team and also a mentor at The Collab Lab. He has now worked for some years building Design Systems.
Roadmap to Successfully Transition to Your First Technical RoleFeb 10, 2022
In this Tech Talk, you will learn about:
- The importance of networking and why emptying your tank and taking a chance on yourself is critical.
- Focus on ways to make yourself get noticed applying and networking and why a diversified approach is king.
- How to put the effort and work into the interviews you secure to make yourself stand out and land the role.
About our speaker:
Shannon Rasimas is a boot camp career coach turned technical recruiter. Having helped hundreds of code school grads successfully transition to their first technical role, she's passionate about providing the motivation, road map and insight on how to successfully do so.
Unconscious Bias and Wise Feedback with Craig John AlimoJan 13, 2022
Creating inclusive environments involves identifying structures, processes and procedures that intentionally or unintentionally impact people, particularly people from marginalized communities. This work also includes looking at our practices that we sometimes take for granted. This tech talk will invite participants to engage in the topic of unconscious bias and its impacts. We will explore how, despite our best intentions, we might not be helping. We will also explore a bit of social psychology and particularly how we might be able to provide wise feedback to others.
About our speaker:
Dr. Craig John Alimo is the Director for Social Justice Education at San Jose State University. He has stumbled and fumbled his way as a social justice educator for more than 20 years. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on social justice educational content and process.
Roll your own Redux with Mike LambertDec 8, 2021
In order to better understand what Redux is and how it works, we’ll build a Redux clone using React context and hooks.
About our speaker:
Mike Lambert is a Frontend Engineer at Zapier and mentor at The Collab Lab. He loves coding, traveling, and popcorn.
i18n guide in the world of Jamstack with Arisa FukuzakiNov 9, 2021
Do you want to know the efficient approach i18n and localization in the Jamstack world? Join my talk, and I'll show you multiple strategies to translate and localize your content. I'll share with you some useful tips in a practical way, including what's to keep in your mind for the future and how to scale your solution in the future.
Demystifying AI/ML : a simple(r) look at complex systems with Sam WardOct 12, 2021
This talk is designed as a primer to anyone who is interested in AI/ML
but is new to the subject and may find it a little daunting or unapproachable. The goal is to step through what AI/ML is, where it came from, the kind of common AI/ML use cases and a look at some cool starter projects (including resources/datasets and walkthroughs).
Configuring Your Career as a Beginner EngineerSep 9, 2021
A talk that walks through how to tackle some of the hardest non/semi-technical things at work. I plan on tackling topics like communication within a team and with yourself, making the most out of pair programming, how to tackle a giant codebase, and working through adversity and impostor syndrome. I touch on a lot of these topics and much more within my book The Beginner Software Engineer's Playbook, and I'd love to share them with folks who aren't able to get a copy themselves.
Build a Product Become a Developer with Rahat ChowdhuryAug 12, 2021
In this talk, we will explore how focusing on building impactful products can better prepare you for job interviews. We will explore how to find the inspiration to build, scope out our work, choose a tech stack, and ultimately develop our MVP while thinking of how to apply our learnings to our next job interview.
Navigating Your First Tech RoleJul 28, 2021
Temi Olukoko from SimplexCode leads us in Navigating Your First Tech Role. So you've landed your first full-time job in the tech industry, but now what? Getting the job is only the first step, with this SimplexCode workshop we will discuss in detail what you should do in your new role and provide you with the right tools for success!
What is SRE (Site Reliability Engineering)? The recipe I followed to become one.Jun 30, 2021
SRE is a relatively new concept and we see it everywhere lately but...what does it mean? What SRE do on a daily basis? In this talk, I want to share with you what Site Reliability Engineering is and how I became one in my early 30s.
About Anastasia: I was born in Russia and moved to Spain when I was 9 years old. At age of 29, I decided to leave my career as a translator behind and become a Linux System Administrator without any previous knowledge of IT. The journey has been quite fun since then. Currently, I am working as Jr SRE at Clarity AI. In my spare time, I keep my cats awake and participate in different IT communities.
Going Down Rabbit Holes: Learning about super users and did we waste our time?Jun 16, 2021
Ever wonder why some of the things in technology are the way they are? Let's look at super users and "sudo" and see if we can figure out where this came from and why we need it today. Then let's talk about following curiosities and how that affects our everyday work.
Lyle Schemmerling is a full stack software engineer living in Portland. Sometimes he gets curious and likes to learn about things.
AWS, The Gateway to Full-Stack Development for Front-End EngineersJun 2, 2021
Are you a front-end engineer looking to cross into full-stack development? AWS is a great way to do that. Learn how you can cross into full-stack development using AWS.
About our speaker: Ceora Ford is a developer advocate based in Philadelphia. Her career thus far has centered around creating educational content focused on making the tech industry more accessible to everyone. She’s worked with amazing companies including CodeSandbox, DigitalOcean, egghead.io, and Kode With Klossy.
The Collab Lab presents Tech Talks: Social HourMay 19, 2021
The Collab Lab presents Tech Talks: Social Hour! Come join us for our first social hour where we will meet and share about our recent projects, articles, questions, or anything compelling relating to tech. Come with questions that are technical or general about the industry or getting hired. Our very own Andrew Hedges, Founder of The Collab Lab, longtime web developer, engineering manager, and educator, will be moderating!
Secrets of a Stealth MenteeMay 5, 2021
Your dream mentor is right around the corner, but they don't need to know that! In this talk, you’ll discover how to find and work with the great mentors you deserve. You’ll learn how to extract insights tailored to you and to keep the great advice coming. The best part? You can use these strategies even if you're not in a formal mentorship program. Maybe you don’t even know what you want right now, and that’s ok! You can still receive mentorship to help you identify and grow into the next stage of your career. We don’t have to wait to be chosen--let’s help others help us.
KWu is a lead Ruby developer at Heroku. In college, she added a Psychology major to learn how to people--but using books. Besides always analyzing due to lacking intuition, she also enjoys cooking and semi-hate-reading parenting books.
Making Process Work for Your Dev TeamApr 21, 2021
Working as a developer is so much more than writing code: it’s participating in and collaborating with others on the processes that help teams run, from reviewing pull requests to running retros.
On healthy teams, processes are a force for good: they enhance communication and alignment, document shared values and commitments, and make our work more inclusive and accessible to folks beyond our immediate team.
But at many tech companies, processes can become slow, inflexible, and bloated—leading to poor communication and low morale. Come to this talk to learn how to spot those processes that need improvement, and how to create and refine processes that work for your dev team.
About our speaker:
Adrienne Lowe is an experienced engineering leader and director of distributed development and ops teams, and a keynote speaker beloved for her ability to inspire and motivate. Read her writing at Leading with Spoons and follow her on Twitter @adriennefriend
Lightning talks #2Apr 8, 2021
Welcome to our 2nd ever lightning talks Meetup!
Each speaker has 10 minutes (including time for questions!) to present the following topics:
- Shajia Abidi will talk about her journey from a non-technical background (journalism) into tech, and how she used her background to move forward in tech
- James Cox will talk about his experiences with burnout, how he overcame it, and the systems he put in place to improve his mental health and help avoid burn out in the future
- Eddie Solar will talk about testing in React with Cypress
- Liz Bañol will talk (in Spanish!) about assertive communication in the workplace
- Stacie Taylor will talk about meaningful ways to approach learning as an early career engineer that will increase your technical understanding AND the value to you being to your company
So you want to be an engineering manager?Mar 25, 2021
There are plenty of resources for how to become a more effective manager. Even more resources for how to become a more effective engineer. But what about actually transitioning from engineer to manager?
In this talk, I aim to provide resources for how to proactively prepare for engineering management. In particular, we’ll look at some ways to frame the common types of Engineering Managers (there’s different types?!?), how their work tends to breakdown across a couple of key areas, and some strategies we can enact to build the skill.
Jayson J. Phillips is a technologist and plays one on TV, too! He’s a Sr Engineering Manager at Coursera, leading a team of engineers focusing on building the best possible online course experiences for learners worldwide. Periodically, he also teaches web development and data visualization bootcamps, most recently at UCLA Extension. As for the TV part, Jayson hosts a twice-weekly stream on Twitch entitled “Pull Up and Code!”, where he creates content meant to bring together engineers new and experienced with a bit of light-hearted fun — and a ton of bugs.
Originally from The Bronx, NY, Jayson currently calls Oakland home, and is proud of his “non-traditional” journey over his 19+ years in software engineering.
Storybook with Nick TaylorMar 10, 2021
Storybook is a tool for building out components and documenting a system of components. It allows you to build components in an isolated environment. This promotes good component practices as well as potentially faster development time as you do not need to rely on the application(s) that consume them.
What we'll cover:
- Some Examples of Storybook
- Writing your first Storybook story
- Customizing Storybook
- Configuring look and feel of Storybook
- Advanced: Customizing Webpack for Storybook
- Setting up Storybook for your Collab Lab project!
- Live Coding: Let’s Make Some Stories for your Collab Lab Project!
It’s Complicated: Intro to Observability with Aisha BlakeFeb 24, 2021
Software is complicated! Observability is a measure of how much we can observe about our applications so we can deal with that complexity and answer the inevitable questions that crop up as we dig for the root causes of problems. Discover how observability can help you brave the unknown and increase the reliability of the software you build!
PEDAC: A Problem-Solving Approach with Mindy ZwanzigerFeb 10, 2021
About Mindy Zwanziger
Mindy is a math teacher turned software engineer with a goal of supporting folk entering the tech field. She has a degree in math and spent two years teaching middle and high school students before deciding it wasn't quite the right fit.
She attended an online coding school called Launch School and was fortunate to participate in one of the first cohorts of Collab Lab—a project-based collaborative experience for new developers. She currently works as a Software Engineer at New Relic.
Whether approaching your next story on the sprint board or sitting under an interviewer's gaze during a coding challenge - it’s easy to misinterpret requirements, overlook simple solutions, or feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem.
The PEDAC problem-solving approach gives you a tool to work through the challenge in front of you. We’ll explain the why and how behind PEDAC and work through examples both together and individually so you can walk away with a working knowledge of this tool. Particularly useful for early-career developers looking for a leg up in coding interviews, but practicing this mindset is useful for day-to-day development as well.
The Web We Deserve, with Molly HolzschlagJan 27, 2021
Molly Holzschlag has been described as the “fairy godmother” of the web. At the forefront of the early-2000s web standards movement, few people have done more to fight for the open web.
In what is sure to be a wide-ranging talk, Molly will attempt to help us answer the question of whether the web we have is the web we deserve.
My Journey Into Tech by Bekah Hawrot WeigelJan 13, 2021
Bekah Hawrot Weigel (Twitter), creator of Virtual Coffee, joins us to share her inspiring journey into tech. Bekah is a writer, of screenplays, memoirs, and code. She’s also a mom with ADHD/ADD who switched careers and has found her place as a web developer.
How games are built with Tim FitzRandolphDec 16, 2020
The Collab Lab is thrilled to welcome Tim FitzRandolph to give a talk on the process of building games. Tim started in QA at Disney, worked his way into a Producer role, then finally into his calling, Game Designer.
He was the driving force behind early iPhone game hits Jelly Car and Where’s My Water?, the first game that led to a Disney movie rather than the other way around! He then led a games team as a VP at NBCUniversal before striking out on his own as Walaber Entertainment.
Tim is a master game maker and we couldn’t be more excited to spend this hour with him hearing about how he goes about his work.
DevOps 101 by David LlunaDec 3, 2020
DevOps is one of these hype words, but, what does it really mean? In this talk, we will try to answer this question by exploring the past, present and future of DevOps. What's the story behind it? Why do companies do use this paradigm? What does it have to do with the 2-pizza rule? Let's find out!
David Lluna manages a small engineering productivity team at Flywire. He focuses on the continuous improvement of tools, practices and processes in all stages of the software development life cycle.
Lightning talks #1Nov 18, 2020
Welcome to the first lightning talk event of our meetup!
Each speaker has 10 minutes (including time for questions!) to present the following topics:
- Caching client-side by Rachel Fischoff.
- How I built an application to calculate the fluid level of dehydrated infants by Kehinde Yahaya.
- Intro to AWS by Caitlyn Greffly
- Using grid area to shift elements around the grid by Stacie Taylor.
- Intro to observability by Mindy Zwanziger.
- Usability and user experience by Lizeth Bañol.
Please note that this talk is happening at 1pm instead of the usual 5pm meeting time.
If you're interested in giving a lightning talk in the future, send the organizers a message! We're already planning event #2 🙂
Webpack, A Bundle Of Joy by Steve GardnerNov 5, 2020
Building a Learning System by Sam JulienOct 22, 2020
In Tech Talk #5, Sam Julien will teach us how to build a learning system and deal with this fast-paced industry with more ease.
Sam works in Developer Relations at Auth0. His job consists of helping developers use Auth0, getting their feedback and sharing it with the engineers who develop the product.
Sam enjoys teaching and breaking down concepts. He did a lot of work using AngularJS as well as Node and GraphQL.
Accessibility by Eric BaileyOct 8, 2020
In this talk, Eric Bailey introduces the concept of accessibility on the web. What is accessibility? How do we do it? No, really, how do we do it?! He will give us great tips to make our applications accessible.
What is User Experience? by Dr Michele WilliamsSep 24, 2020
For our third tech talk, Michele Williams will talk about User Experience (UX) with us. What is at the core of UX? How do we define it and how do we engage with it? What are the roles that make improving UX possible?
Plasmic by Yang ZhangSep 10, 2020
Yang Zhang gives us a demo of Plasmic, a framework that bridges the gap between design and code in React applications.
Assistive Technologies with Weston ThayerAug 27, 2020
We welcome Weston Thayer, founder of Assitiv Labs, to talk about how assistive technologies are used to help people with disabilities access the web.
Have a talk idea? Get in touch!
Interested in speaking at our Meetup? Submit your idea here.