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Hello, Courage!

July 17 2017

Hello, Courage!

I recently discovered PyLadies Remote. PyLadies is “an international mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community.” They have a “remote” or online group for women who don’t live near an established group… that’s me!

I didn’t discover PyLadies in time to attend the last workshop but thankfully, it was posted on YouTube. The workshop, “Strategies for Building and Launching Your Side Project,” was given by Tracy Osborn… the same lady who wrote the Hello Web App series! In the workshop, she shares her own experience launching a series of wedding sites and stresses the importance to launch early. She uses a visual aid to show how you shouldn’t build an app with the expectation that it has to go from wheels, to chassis, to fully functioning automobile. The progression should be something more like skateboard, to scooter, to bicycle, to motorcycle, to automobile. She calls this the Minimum Viable Product.

I have been working on a Ruby on Rails app for about 7 months. It’s a directory to help other English-speakers discover places to eat, shop, and explore in my little Japanese town. I think it would be a huge help to my local community, especially since most of my fellow Americans do not speak or read Japanese and this is their first time living outside the United States. It can be tough getting around if you always feel lost. I just haven’t felt like it was ready for launch. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles I imagined it to have. I’m not even sure my code is pretty or stable enough. If I don’t really feel like an expert, what business do I have putting something out there??

After watching the workshop video… twice… I feel like if I don’t just do it, I never will. My time here is running out and then what? It just collects dust in a dark corner of the internet, unused and unloved? I think I hate that idea more than the terror of finding out people think it sucks. Must. Choose. Courage.

Photo by Annie Spratt