Season 3 Wrap Up: Hacktoberfest is Coming!

Season 3, Episode 9 | August 31, 2021

Community Maintainer Kirk joins us (again) for our Season 3 wrap up and Hacktoberfest preview!


Kirk Shillingford's profile photo
Kirk Shillingford

Software Developer, and Community Maintainer at Virtual Coffee.

Show Notes:

Community Maintainer Kirk joins us (again) for our Season 3 wrap up! We review what Virtual Coffee did last year for Hacktoberfest, and talk about a lot of the exciting things we have coming up this year! We also shared some fun things from the last year at Virtual Coffee, like our Virtual Coffee Co-Working Room!

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Transcript:

Kirk:

Hello, and welcome to season three, episode nine of the Virtual Coffee podcast. I'm definitely Bekah. And this is a podcast that features members of the Virtual Coffee community. Virtual Coffee is an intimate group of devs at all stages of their coding journey. And they're here on this podcast, sharing their stories. And what they've learned, we're here to share with you. Here with me today is my cohost, Dan.

Dan:

Um, thanks. Definitely Bekah. Uh, today we have, uh, a special episode is the last episode of season three. And so we are here with Kirk Shillingford one of our community maintainers and Bekah is actually here. Bekah is here and fake Bekah, all the Bekahs are here. Um, so we have some exciting stuff coming up where you are, um, about to kick into some of our Hacktoberfest preparations. And so we thought we would talk a little bit about Hacktoberfest last year and what we have going on this year, as well as just wrap up the season our podcast. We start every episode of the podcast like we start every Virtual Coffee - we introduce ourselves with our name where we're from, what we do and a random check-in question. Today's question is if you had to teach one class on one thing right now, what would you teach? We hope you enjoy this episode.

Bekah:

Hey. I'm Bekah, I'm a front end developer from a small town in Ohio. And if I had to teach one class right now, like my initial go-to is like, well, I've taught English. I could do that. Um, but I, I still don't want to, I'm still burnt out from that. So I would probably, I don't know, like maybe a kettlebell class or, um, a patients' rights course for navigating the medical system. You know,

Dan:

So like, that's going to be like, a, like a four year degree for that.

Kirk:

Yeah.

Bekah:

That's what you get.

Dan:

Yeah. Fair enough. Um, hi, I'm Dan I'm a front-end developer from Cleveland, Ohio, and a maintainer here at Virtual Coffee. And, um, yeah, if I had to teach a class on one thing, I mean, I don't know. There's, there's some computer stuff I could do, but I think starting a fire would be my one. Did we do this before? Now that I said that.

Bekah:

Yeah. Now that you said that that was familiar.

Dan:

Oh, maybe we did it in a coffee. I hope we didn't do it in a podcast. All right. Well, I'm sticking with it. Um, you know, if we are repeating questions in the podcast, please write in and blame, um, real Bekah who you heard at the top of the episode, uh, or fake Bekah just don't blame Dan. Um, because, well, you know, I'm blameless, I'm blameless in pretty much all situations.

Bekah:

is false.

Kirk:

um, all right. This is definitely Bekah. Although sometimes you can call me Kirk and, um, class. I would teach you 100%. It would be Sudoku I would teach you all about Sudoku, regular sort of who, the different types, the different cool techniques. That's a joke. They're all cool techniques. yeah, that would, that would totally be my thing. And it would be lots of fun. And, um, if we did this question before, I didn't do this question before, so.

Bekah:

I

Dan:

Fair enough. So the same. Do you have a, I do have my phone and I've never really like found, uh, an app.

Kirk:

I can recommend some good apps.

Dan:

Okay.

Kirk:

Well, I must clear, I have four Sudoku apps on my phone, but each one is a different type of Sudoku, so it's not.

Dan:

Hmm. Okay. Well, what I like, what's the, what's your go-to app for the like class, like just classic

Kirk:

Okay. I have one it's all bespoke Sudoku, none of that and machine generated, you know, printed press stuff, real artisan Sudokus, I'm not even making that up, so,

Dan:

Okay. Tell us what it's called.

Kirk:

oh, I just called it WIS. It's called it's called classics and docu. Um, there's a YouTube channel called cracking the cryptic where you can watch two, um, English puzzle, masters solve Sudoku is and a variety of other puzzles. And it's just the most lovely thing in the world to watch a middle lake British man scoff, a beautiful number. So, They produce their own app and they source it from hustlers that we call people who make puzzles, puzzles in the community. And also though, cause we're really good an app, like helps you if you need to. And it gives you like smart pins, not just like random hints. It's great. It's good at classics in

Dan:

So,

Kirk:

the cryptic

Dan:

so a puzzler is someone who creates the puzzles. Okay. So what's what do you call somebody who solves puzzle?

Kirk:

A Solver

Bekah:

That was boring.

Dan:

Most boring.

Kirk:

It's told you about custom

Dan:

I feel like, I feel like the Sudoku community needs to, it needs to up their game, you know, for making a silly, well, not silly, but a potential names for themselves, you know, it's just not, it's just not there.

Kirk:

therapies. We're trying to really upset around.

Bekah:

well, speaking of puzzles and games, Hacktoberfest sure seems like that too. Except we have maintainers and contributors. See it's there. That was a really good segue and everybody should acknowledge that. So last year we did Hacktoberfest for the first time, and that's kind of what stands out in my mind as, as the, uh, When, what, when we really kind of came into phase two, a Virtual Coffee, um, when we became something that wasn't just a pandemic group of people, what is a group of developers at all stages of the journey that would be around for awhile. Um, and so, you know, what, what we did last year, we had an issue. We helped, um, members get their first contribution for Hacktoberfest, which had Tobar Fest. A month long focus on open source contributions that sponsored by digital ocean. And, um, once you sign up, I think you have to have four pull requests and then you can get a t-shirt and stickers, but it's really fun and kind of a great way to build community and to learn more about each other. I know from my perspective, I mean, I learned. Organizing this working with mentors Um, and, and it was my first time as a maintainer as well. So, you know, there were so many lessons that, that we learned last year. Maybe if we just talk about like our favorite parts of year, and then we can move into what we're taking from that into this year, um, which I'm really excited.

Dan:

Yeah. Um, yes. So favorite parts from last year, um, I enjoyed, you know, last year we decided to use the website as one of our repos, um, which meant we needed to make a website. So, um, so we did that pretty quickly and, um,

Bekah:

you mean you.

Dan:

okay. The, the war, the Royal we, and, um, One of the things that we pulled together was, um, making it an, uh, an, an issue for having people add themselves to the, to their members directory, um, via code. And we created an issue and, you know, created, you know, set up some guidelines and stuff like that. And then had a kickoff meeting altogether where w where we could get everybody going on, um, submitting a poll request. In a zoom meeting and that was a lot of fun. It was fun. We, we got, um, I think everybody got it done. We had, um, shout out to Marie. I'm pretty sure who rescued me at one point because somebody was having problem with, um, git on the command line and I don't use git on the command don't uh, and so I didn't know how to, I'm a guy that I was like, I, I mean, I, I made sure to before the event, um, practice, you know, the very simple things. This was, we ran into something that was, wasn't simple on. I had no idea. Marie swooped

Kirk:

Yeah.

Dan:

with her superhero Cape and, uh, rescued my rescued me. Um, so shout out to Marie for that. But, uh, it was a lot of fun. Um, just the event the whole month was like that, uh, the whole month, it was just, uh, all members kind of ended up being excited and, and we had a, it was fun to have a goal, you know, to everybody could celebrate, you know, I dunno, it was fun, but yeah, that, that first meeting is the thing that pops into my mind. Um, when I think of Virtual Coffee last year and Hacktoberfest, what about you? Oh, I was trying to think of a Keka that's awful.

Kirk:

You can just, you can just go Kirk.

Bekah:

Yeah.

Kirk:

Um, yeah, last, last Hacktoberfest, I mean, it was a lot of firsts for me. I, I like, I think a lot of people don't know this. My very first like open source pull requests was just a couple months before. On the self-defined project run by Tatyana Mack, who was super amazing. But, um, I feel like I had spent a long time not doing like anything coding or tech related on the side. Just like, especially when I've been working by myself. Um, and Hacktoberfest was I sort of first opportunity to start doing stuff with other people. I was also my first time. Uh, hosting an open source project. My first time, like teaching other people, like formally like Elm and getting into functional programming. I, in a similar fashion to Dan may have gone a little overboard with my, my piece of it, writing weights and much documentation. Um, but it, it felt really good to kind of like, you know, my, uh, thoughts to try and make something good for them. And I think it was just really, really fun and empowering and validating to see so many people say like this was my first PR Right. And like the fact that we can get that for some people and they could have a good experience with it and not a painful experience with it. That felt good. And I'm super pumped for doing that again.

Dan:

Yeah, I, uh, I learned that, Kirk, I mean, yeah, Kirk, Kirk did a ton of work getting our, uh, open-source stuff set up and, uh, putting some guidelines in place. And I don't know, I learned a lot, um, we're working with Kirk on that too. really cool. Bekah, what about you?

Bekah:

Yeah, I think, you know, it's, it all comes down to the people, right? It was such a big learning experience. I feel like. I learned so much in the month prep and the month of doing it, that it, it was like an intense amount of learning that happened. I was so exhausted afterwards, but it was so great to be able to work with other people and kind of learn about the deliberate process that goes into documenting things and creating issues. And the difference between working on your. Own open source project and then having people work on it, it was, you know, a lot in working on my postpartum wellness app with members of the community and working through issues and how to write issues, but then also, know, pairing up with them and talking through things and hearing their stories and their connection to, know, both the code, but also the, um, topic that we were working on. It just became something that couldn't. I would have never imagined that it would be that special and meaningful to me. So, you know, I really just love that. like we all just like really close together in that experience.

Dan:

Yeah, totally. Um, I mean, I agree. Um, we, we talk a lot about. That the Hacktoberfest last year was, was sort of where Virtual Coffee became, you know, more of a, I dunno, I dunno what, the more of a thing, you know what I mean? Um,

Bekah:

Like

Dan:

than just, uh,

Bekah:

know.

Dan:

yeah, solidified I dunno, sort of a mission or something. I don't, I don't know, but, yeah, know. It was a lot of fun.

Kirk:

Yeah. I think before, virtual Coffee was, you know, we, we definitely sort of established the space and, you know, we were, we were having fun together and we were definitely like forming those like good and healthy connections and relationships feel like Hacktoberfest was, when we sort of like the opportunity to do a lot of good in the tech space. Like

Bekah:

Yeah.

Kirk:

some of the big gaps And then like, you know, also like feeling empowered to change them. Right. Because if all started with that question of, we all want to do something for open source, we all have this feeling like, why does that ever feel good? No. Why do people have so many, so. much trouble with this? Why other people find it so intimidating? we tried to solve it. And, you know, once we did that, we sort of get on a roll with the next month and the month after that of, let's keep trying to. Like these things just like together or both at the same time in that.

Bekah:

Yeah. There's so many people that suggest getting into open source. Um, if you're new or you're getting into the industry, and I've always found that that's not necessarily the best advice because open source projects are open to new and entry-level people, some of them are welcoming and some of them aren't. And so what ends up happening is it can be a really isolating experience and one that doesn't leave you. Well, the, a good taste in your mouth, like, oh yeah. I want to continue to be part of this community. Um, because there can be some really bad experiences out there. And I think, you know, that really. Um, stands out to me, as everybody talked about how great it was to be doing this thing together. People who had been in tech for years, who had not done it before doing it for the first time, it was part of a community and it was a sense of belonging. And there is a greater purpose when you're doing it with other people that you trust around you. it, you know, it allows you to grow and new ways. Um, and so I think, you know, bringing that into what we're doing this year makes it even more exciting and more purposeful because we know that this has happened once before and we have grown a ton since last year. this year, it it's really exciting to kind of off of what we've done. Dan, do you want to kind of talk about what our plans are heading into?

Dan:

Yeah, absolutely. So digital ocean, you know, um, has been running Hacktoberfest and they, so they coined the term Preptember, right. Uh, for September. And the idea there for in DigitalOcean's mind is Preptember is for maintainers, right? So Preptember is get, um, get your repositories ready. Um, People to contribute. Right. And they have a lot of, they have a lot of good, uh, resources out there for things like, um, you know, creating issues and adding, contributing guides, stuff like that. And so that was, you know, we're, we're, we're going to also piggyback on that a little bit. Um, we want to help maintainers, um, get things ready. We, we, I feel like we have done a pretty good job on, in our own internal stuff of adding a lot of the community health things that you want to see a lot of the. Some of the organizational stuff, things that we want to see. Um, and so we can use that, some of that as a guide and, um, provide some help for both, uh, existing maintainers that want to sort of just make sure they're checking all the boxes and, uh, anybody who wants to create a new open source project to figure out. You know what things to do, what things to hit, um, when, when you're creating a project so that you don't end up with the random bits of code, the default, read me with, you know, just a header and that's it. Right. Um, so someone, somebody who comes to contribute, uh, they can help. And then the, for us, for Virtual Coffee, we will also want it to have something this month for, um, our members who may you know, who aren't maintainers of open-source projects and, uh, The other thing we thought about was creating a, I don't know, a challenge, you know, using our mental challenge set up and, um, helping people learn how to create good issues for repositories, because I personally feel like that is one of the, like, that is actually one of the strongest things you can do to contribute, um, especially to big projects, even the little projects, uh, writing an issue. Um, you know, I don't know if you find something. It he's either wrong or you'd like to, uh, help improve or, or everything like that. every, almost every maintainer will prefer you to create an issue first. Right. And that way the maintainers can process them and, you know, check and see. but also, you know, if you see something that's wrong, lots of times. Okay. So does it happen personally? Right? I have, I've been trying to install a package or something. I follow the, read me. It doesn't work and I. Okay. I mean, you know, whatever, I'm busy, I'm pressed for time or whatever. And, uh, you know, I just like, oh, this thing is broken. And so I just move on, you know, and, um, a possibly better approach would be to write an issue. Right. But you can't just say this is broken and move on. Cause that's just as helpful, you know, like that's not hopefully there. Um, so that's, that's our other, we're doing a two-pronged Preptember, right? Right. Some issues for some repositories and, uh, you know how to do it well, How to, you know, both, uh, set up and create or create, um, um, your open source project with, with a good, you know, with a good setup of support, um, for maintainers. it starts tomorrow, as of our recording, it starts September 1st. So, um, which will probably be when this comes out, actually.

Bekah:

Yeah. And, you know, I think contributors write issues also does a really good job of kind of showing. What it takes to be a maintainer or what's useful way to approach a problem. so, and I think it helps to create those clear paths of communication. now, Kirk, I know that you did a lot with maintainers last year. You're working on a checklist for maintainers this year. What are some of the big things that you think maintainers should be for as they prepare their repositories for Hacktoberfest?

Kirk:

Uh, there's part of me wants to say there's quite a bit. And then another part of me wants to say it's like less than people think. There are some basic like files that we know usually helped to, to just have like having the good reading and like knowing what makes a good reasoning, um, contributing, like telling people, Hey, here's the way you contribute to this code base in the way that works for you as the maintainer, right. Having a code of conduct. So establishing very early on the types of behaviors you expect while interacting with the code base and interacting with other people contributing. Um, as you said, It's all about communication. And I think a lot of times maintainers it's like, we sort of think of open source in this very transactional way. Like I have code base use of it to code base. I take something, you know, it's, it's, it's a team, right? It's, it's an ad hoc team. It's a distributed team. But while that person is trying to work with your code, they're kind of like your teammate. So in the same way you would. Keep a teammate teammate aware of like, what's going on. You kind of do the same thing with, uh, with contributors. So I usually encourage maintainers, like, Hey, think about the way you want to interact with this code base. And just like a lot of it's just like giving folks a heads up. I work on this, on the weekends. So if you submit a request, you know, expect a review by the weekend, or like, Hey, sometimes I slip up. So if you notice it's been a couple of weeks or a couple of days with no response, me a message on the appropriate channel where you wish to receive messages about your open source code base. if there are a lot of things like that, but I don't feel like we talk about a lot. We talked about making the issue or making the PR, I think those subtleties. As a maintainer find the way you want to be interacted with and make that super clear for people, um, that can be super helpful. then for your contributors, then they don't have that burden of trying to decide if they're bothering you or frustrating. And that goes back to what Dan said about like what's a good issue. You know, a good issue for a maintainer is something they can see like make decisions on. I need to fix this? Can I let this person fix it? Um, is this a big problem that we need to pair up more on? Can we break this into smaller chunks? so, you know, it's, it's about like building a healthy working relationship. And a lot of that is people being open, honest with like where they're at and what they can accomplish.

Bekah:

I really love that idea of this is your team that you're working with. And so if you're thinking of, okay, now you have all of these brand new teammates who are going to be working on your repository. How do you onboard them all at once? Right. It, it starts there, you know, what the clear paths of communication and do you lay that out? How do you demonstrate that you are a friendly repository for people to come and work on things? I talked to, um, a maintainer of a really large a couple of months ago. one of the challenges that he said was, so hard to find people to continue being maintainers for the project because Was self-described as older. And he said the other maintainers are older and they could really use, new people to take it over. it's a catch 22 almost because so many of the maintainers don't want to spend the time to work with new contributors. ultimately those would be the perfect candidates once they understood the repository and how to work through things, it over for a while. Um, and I think. You know, going back to what we're doing and making sure that we, um, work with all of our members at all different levels and stages. Like that's the investment that we put into, these repositories. We, we make sure that people have mentors. We make sure that there are repositories that are friendly to them and that these it's about developing the relationships that go and create community around your project. So you can sustain and grow.

Dan:

Yeah, I love that. And like, that's, that's one of the support things that we w we try to do too. And this stuff that we're talking about is time consuming from a maintainers perspective, you know, and there are a lot of projects out there where, um, I feel like there are people that would be open to country contributions, you know, maybe haven't spelled out every single thing that they could or whatever. And one of the things that we can do at like, that we do do as a community is. Is maybe provide support for our contributors to navigate, you know, different, different areas of repositories and, and what's to you. Cause none of them are ever going to be perfect. Right? Uh, no, no project is going to have everything laid out. Um, some will get close, you know, but, um, anyway, uh, that that's like one of the other things that we do once, like once Hacktoberfest starts is. Is provide support and mentorship in some time, you know, in some places for people, uh, format for our members to kind of work through some of the social, you know, some of the like social anxiety that can, that can, that can happen. Um, when, you know, when contributing to open source.

Kirk:

Yeah. I think you touched on something very important that are just like how scary it is to offer, to help someone on project that like, you feel like, oh, I don't particularly understand. And it's all this code. And especially if you're an early career developer, like, oh, I'm just, I just got here. I'm going to mess something up. There's so many. It's something that we don't really do in other circumstances, there's a lot of anxiety around it and sort of anything you can do too, as a maintainer to make people feel more welcome is, is like worth it, know, and getting back to September, like you said, like this, this year, we want it to not just be Preptember for maintainers, but also Preptember for contributors, you know, we're, we're going to be doing, you know, a couple of talks in a couple of seconds. You know, to show people what contribution looks like, but also to let them see like not scary it is and how approachable it can be, you know, just to we can do to kind of like get through those layers of anxiety and get to that place where it's like, no, they, they want me to be here. They want me to help. They're okay with me learning. They're willing to sort of, you know, guide them along. Um, and that's when I think you get to see people really, really shine and like really enjoy. Uh, making contributions to group projects.

Dan:

So you mentioned some stuff, some, some events I just wanted to kind of run through a couple of the ones that we have for September. Um, if that's all right, real quick. September 3rd, which is this Friday, we, I will be doing an event, a lunch and learn event at noon Um, and, and it's just an open. So what's called the open source project walkthrough. And this just sort of a tour, uh, not really a deep dive into any con you know, contributing, uh, any, any, anything as far as like pull requests or anything like that. But, just a tour of what a, what a repository looks like. What are all the different pieces that happen? Um, looks like from the maintainers perspective, um, on a project and, uh, We'll just kind of it around. It's not going to be a, it's not going to be super in depth, um, but it'll be kind of fun and we'll, know, we'll hang out and ask some questions and stuff like that. Um, and so that's me, that's Friday, September 17th is a lunch and learn, um, how to create an open source or a repository. And so this is Kirk, um, at September 17th at noon Eastern. And this is sort of geared towards maintainers or. People who'd like to be maintainers. kind of, and this is kind of what we touched about and touched on a couple of times. What kinds of things should we look at when we're, when we're, we're talking, thinking about creating an open source project, um, because it's not just the code. Like we've talked about a bunch of times, right? It's not just the code. Uh, there's a lot of things we can do to help, to help, uh, contributors actually contribute to your project. So that is 17th. And then am what we got the 24. Um, which is the last Friday I feel like probably in September is, uh, this is our intro to Hacktoberfest and, um, and open-source contributions, hosted by Bekah but I'm pretty sure we'll, we'll, I'll be there. Um, and this is a general Hacktoberfest, you know, Jumping into everything event. Um, I guess I should have probably asked if Kirk, if you had anything to say about her, your event, uh, uh, just realized I was about to do either of you would like to, you know, expand more on what I said. Um, but those, the events coming up, uh, this month, I'm excited about it.

Kirk:

Um, I think he covered the basis. It's it's going to be much what it says. We're going to start from scratch with a, Hey, I have something locally and I want to get it up on GitHub. I want it to be open source and I want to do the necessary things that people know that they can come here and work here. We will cover the required docs. We'll, we'll get some helpful, get up features for making that process easier because they have invested a lot of resources into that type of thing. Uh, we'll cover a few things that GitHub doesn't really tell you about the, you sort of learn from our work with PC and just all the other cool projects in the community. So, I mean, totally recommended for anyone who wants to start an open source. Anyone who already has one and they just want to get like a refresher on what are the cool things happening nowadays to make it engaging, even if you're a contributor where you just want to see like, Hey, like what actually goes into this? I might want to do this next year or a couple months down the line. Um, I think all, all three of our events will be super useful for anyone at any

Bekah:

Yeah.

Kirk:

part of the OSS. Uh,

Bekah:

Yeah, and I always appreciate everybody coming. If somebody is very experienced and has done it before and has things to offer and can answer questions too, you know, it's great to have a variety of voices from the community who can talk about the things and, you know, we'll start with, you know, what is hacked Tober Fest, um, because you know, Plenty of people who've been in tech for a long time and they're not familiar with Oktoberfest and it's okay. It just depends on, you know, the, the circles that you hang around. Right. Um, to have exposure to that. Uh, I think I, I was just in the like, free t-shirt. Groups everywhere. And I was like, you go. so we'll get you set up, learn how to, sign up for that. Learn about how to find repositories that that eligible for Hacktoberfest and talk through what it's like to work your way through an issue about, um, Creating a pull request and, and some tips for doing that or asking questions along the way, but we'll definitely prioritize answering anyone's questions at that point. Um, just to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and everyone feels comfortable asking whatever questions they feel like asking. Right. It's okay to ask all of the questions because that's what we're here for. We're here to answer them.

Dan:

Plus, I think we all like talking about it. I always want people to ask questions because it's just fun. It's just fun to talk about all this stuff for me, you know? And, um, it's a. I like it can be anxiety inducing. It was, it was for me, uh, certainly like getting, getting started and, um, the, you know, getting started with open source, especially, especially contributing to like, to projects of people who you don't know the people, right. You don't know the maintainers and everything. Um, it doesn't have to be at, I think the, me, I think the way that you get over it. The best way to get over that anxiety is to, is to just kind of get started, you know, um, uh, ask questions, you know, all of that stuff. And then, and then, and then we can kind of dive in. And so that's why that's, that's gonna be our process again this year, you know? Um, well this event should be fun. Uh, like on the 24th, that Beck is running and kind of hang out and then, um, Going into October for Virtual Coffee, you know, we'll, we'll, we'll have some, we'll have some more specific events, uh, set up and some more things kind of, kind of go in that we'll a little bit later. Um, in September, I guess,

Bekah:

Yeah.

Dan:

once we figured out what they all are.

Bekah:

I think one of the cool things too, about how much we've grown in the last year is that we have a lot more maintainers with us year than we did last year. who have their own projects or who have jobs at open source, I'm working on open source projects. And so it's been great to kind of see that evolution of like, oh, look, they participated last year and got their first PRS. And now they're like on, on this. Open source project in their company. And, you know, they're, they bring with them that amazing experience of like knowing what that feels like and being able to help new people. And there's a lot of, um, great projects and also really meaningful projects out there too. So going to be really exciting to see much the variety has grown as well.

Dan:

Yeah, absolutely. That's a great point. Um, and. Well, I guess adding onto that, one of that, another thing that we have new this year for us is, uh, some, some team, a team of people that are helping out, um, actually run the events and, you know, run, run these challenges and stuff like that to our monthly challenge team, um, especially it has been, has been kicking butt. Uh, I've been helping to get this rolling in September and, um, So I just want to shout out to, to everybody there too. Um, because that's been really cool. It's been cool to have like a sort of a larger, um, I dunno, group of people to generate ideas, bounce ideas off of, and, and you know, everything. So that's, that's really fun. I'm excited about that.

Bekah:

year at this time, we didn't, we hadn't started monthly challenges that started in November. Um, with our blog challenge. So it's really cool too, to see like where we've almost made that full circle of a year of monthly challenges and then next month, we're just going to know, the last couple of months of having other people step up the game with monthly challenge and, and have things thought through has been, you know, a really great way to show how much support we have from the community that allows us to do extra things and things that are meaningful. And, you know, I, I got a message from one of the members. Wait today is still August. So we did healthy habits for healthy devs. And I checked in with one of the members to see how they were doing. And they said, well, this monthly challenge is getting me through this month because it's requiring like, deliberately thinking about my health and how I can turn off work and how I can create healthy habits. And I just thought, you know, what a wonderful example of how. The work that our members provide to support us, goes to support everybody and those meaningful moments make it all worth it.

Kirk:

Yeah. I think part of what makes this whole experience so good. It is. mean, it's obviously a great thing to work with to like provide an experience for them. But it's also been a really cool to see people who have not had the experience to maybe like provide the support in many ways in this space, get a chance to do that. You know, there's, there's so many folks now in the different teams we have, sometimes I, hard for me to keep track of all the different issues we have because we have all these different channels where people are doing amazing things. everyone's saying like, oh, this is the person that would have done something like this. And they're doing such amazing jobs. And. You know, I feel like a big, a big part of what I like about Virtual Coffee is that like, this is like, this is no one's job, but also in the sense that for a lot of us, it's the first time we were trying to do something and all we really had was the belief that we could do it. And like the belief that we can get support if we needed to. And that to me has been, you know, super empowering. Having a space where you can to help other people and try and work with other people and try and initiative where you can feel comfortable with making mistakes and having to do things over and not having to be perfect on zoom or, you know, just that's, that's hard to find sometimes in real life land, like you feel like the work you have to do everything perfectly. sometimes even just like interpersonal relationships. That feels really healthy. And that feels almost like as important as like who were on the receiving it, being able to help people on the giving end has been really good. And I mean, the big discovery, which I guess isn't really surprising in retrospect because it like why people want to give back, they want to help, you know, our communities here. Cause it's just like, oh, this is just a nice space where I get to help folks out. And, um,

Dan:

Yeah. I mean, I love that I was going to segue into some other stuff, but do we have any final, like Hacktoberfest thoughts? Um, other than. We're excited.

Bekah:

Well, I just want to say too, just looking back at how much I've grown personally in the last year, learning from everybody. Um, Uh, you know, as we're approaching this and we're doing this event and all of these things, think last year I things more in black and white, like there was success or there was failure. And I think this year for me, it's, it's not ever about that. It's about the growth. Am I growing? You know, what am I doing to push myself forward and to support the other people? think that's just a Testament to. The community that's here is supporting everyone because it isn't, it it's not success or failure. We're all moving forward. We're all growing and we're growing together, um, and growing in different ways. And so I think that, I'm, I'm very that we up August with healthy habits for healthy devs, because it gives a much better perspective going into some really, you know, event heavy.

Dan:

I think that's a good point. I think you might be sub tweeting me right now, but I make my own choices. Yeah. I I'll echo that. I mean, it's, uh, this community is so great. And the, the we've sort of naturally, uh, focused on, on mental health, I think, um, from the beginning, you know, without, without any, without any sort of decision, right. It was a natural thing because, um, the people here. Care. Um, you know, and we see over and over again, uh, everybody knows and has experienced I'm sure, uh, you know, burnout and, uh, overworking and all of that stuff. Um, uh, the fact that our community is a community of people who like, who care so much about each other, that, you know, giving support for that, uh, with mental health just kind of comes naturally for everybody. And it, And especially, I, I w I want to especially shout out to Kirk here, because this is one of the things that, you know, that he injected into all of our thought processes at the beginning. Um, this is while we were maybe not practicing it, um, this, you know, in this time of year, maybe September last year, we were pulling together a documentation and resources and the website for active professed and. And Kirk's, I just love, I just loved Kirk's thoughts on all of it. And, and the, the focus on the mental health and the taking a break and the, you know, all that stuff, it's, it can be easy to get, even with volunteer stuff, it can be easy to get caught up. Um, and, uh, and everything, you know, and like Bekah said, the black and whiteness of everything, you know, anyway, the mental health focus of our, of our, um, community is amazing. And I, never really put it together like that, but I think that's a great point that August was sort of a breather month that, you know, in a, in a mental health check-in month. Um, and I don't know, it's a good, it's a great thing to keep in mind, moving forward, moving forward for of us. Even if I'm not always going to be good at doing what's that

Kirk:

Why Dan and Bekah not good at taking breaks? No. Who would think that.

Bekah:

into this?

Kirk:

You, you would identify with this? but don't think you're not here. This podcast could be called like people with letting go issues,

Bekah:

Yeah.

Kirk:

but it's okay. That's what we have The community for to remind us like it's it's okay.

Bekah:

frozen soundtrack.

Kirk:

Oh, I still haven't watched it.

Bekah:

you said, let it go.

Kirk:

I've never seen Frozen. Not one or two. Heard good things. I'll wait for the live action.

Dan:

Yeah. That's all right. Um, so. I, um, I think I said at the top maybe, but this is the last episode of season three of our podcast and we're kind of wrapping up and things. So I wanted to, before we end this episode, um, I dunno, shout out some, some different things that have happened over either the last, you know, during the last season or the last, um, year with Virtual Coffee. Um, so I guess first the, uh, podcast we passed 4,000 downloads. Um, but you know, total for our podcasts, uh, a little bit ago. And I just, I think that's amazing. And I wanted to, say thank you to everybody who's been listening. Uh, and everybody who's joined.

Bekah:

on and told their story.

Dan:

Yes. Uh, included Kirk is, uh, you know, repeat guest, and, um, yeah, it's really great. It's, it's crazy that there's so many people I've listened to, to our podcast. I don't know. Um, it's hard to really comprehend 4,000 people or 4,000, you know, listens I guess, or whatever. But, um, I just, I dunno, I wanted to shout that out and say, thank you.

Kirk:

Am I the first person to repeat on the podcast.

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Bekah:

co-host

Kirk:

the Martin

Bekah:

or sometimes cohost.

Kirk:

the secret co-host only, you only get access to me if you listen to enough of it. So if you're listening.

Dan:

Um, One thing Kirk said earlier about, um, just the community kind of work together. Made me think of the coworking room as well. Um, a co-working room for anybody who is listening, who doesn't know is a, uh, a room it's a slack channel in a room in Virtual Coffee, psych that, um, it's basically, and always on zoom meeting. And so people can join the meeting and work together and hang out together. Kirk, I think, like you visit often. Do you want to come here?

Kirk:

live in the court. Uh,

Dan:

can you, can

Bekah:

Yeah.

Dan:

about it a little bit?

Kirk:

well, I mean, first I think like the important thing is to say, shout out to Dan for making the coworking room. Um, it,

Dan:

I don't know. We're shouting out other people in this sector.

Kirk:

I, yeah, but like from the, from the slack side, it looks like very simple. You hit join again. But I know like you're doing like several magics to get that all working smoothly. So, I mean, you were sincerely rewarded for your efforts. I think the folks that use the room really, really value it. Um, for a lot of members, there are a couple of our members. Sometimes it's difficult for them to get to regular coffees, I've had warranty folks say, but I know I can always jump in coworking and there's usually someone there and sometimes that's my Virtual Coffee for the week. Uh, so that's really good. And, you know, it's, it's just become, it's just another space, another platform for VC members to interact with each other and provide support. Uh, sometimes people will have questions and helping pairing, and they're like, Hey, you know, if no one's in the co-working room, jump in. Or, and then the coworking room becomes like a little and learn session where, know, everyone's just like, trying to help the person do the problem, but also watching people kind of pair up and go through school. So it's, it's got a lot of purposes, but it's, it's definitely I know the members really appreciate really enjoy. Um, shout out also to Meg, who I think also there's a lot of work in there and, um, Yeah, it's, I think it quickly rose up the ranks to become like one of the coolest parts of VC who had coworking helping pairing just like a, this is.

Dan:

Yeah, the and I feel like they kind of are almost, uh, you had to work together, right? Help and pairing. have a help and pairing channel, you know, Just very often, see somebody asks a question and somebody answered, Hey, I have a minute. Let's jump into the coworking room. Um, which is amazing. I, uh, we were going to add our, like the, to our newsletter. We're going to add the longest meeting of the month or longest, and not meeting with the longest, uh, coworking session. Right. So can last, you know, somebody starts a session. The session lasts until the last person leaves. Right. So it doesn't necessarily have to be that person staying on the whole time. Right. And so. Uh, subscribe to your newsletter if you want to see it the longest and August, but I, that made me want to look it up what the historical longest one. And so it was, um, 789 minutes, um, on, on the, at the, end of July, July 24th. Um, so that, you know, I mean, that's, whatever it is, I did this

Kirk:

No, don't go for it to hours. It doesn't sound as cool. Okay. So it sounds pretty cool.

Dan:

hours and, uh, yeah. Yeah. That's, uh, it's, uh, it, it's pretty cool. And it's just cool that somebody, like some of our friends were just hanging out for that long. You know what I mean? Um, I love it. We, we have, I don't know, almost 350 sessions have happened since we started it. February, maybe they're at the beginning of the year. Um, and, uh, it's been cool. So if you are a member and haven't checked it out, go ahead and check it out. And, uh, if you aren't a Virtual Coffee member, this is just one of the many things you're missing. Um, the, what else? We got podcast as room sponsorships. Bekah, do you wanna tell us about sponsorships?

Bekah:

Sure. I'll tell you about sponsorships. Um, so you can sponsor Virtual Coffee, help us keep the coffee brewing, um, on GitHub. I'll have a link in the show notes for that, but if you just go to GitHub.com/Virtual-Coffee. There'll be a little heart sponsor button and there's different tiers there for different ways that you can, um, contribute, um, to Virtual Coffee, to make sure that we can cover some of the costs that are, that, that are incurred to run Virtual Coffee. And I think maybe we'll. Put something up there. We'll be talking more about having a Hacktoberfest sponsor too. So if you're listening to this and you know, somebody who'd be interested and sponsoring all of our fun, please just reach out to us at hello@virtualcoffee.io.

Dan:

Yep. Um, we have, we have on our home on a, on like on our website website. Um, we have a section of our sponsors too. So you can see who has supported us so far that we have like 26, 26 sponsors, um, and I want to say thank you to everybody who has sponsored us so far. Well, um, yeah. So is there anything else we wanted to, we wanted to cover before we wrap up.

Bekah:

I just want to say thank you to everybody that has donated their time and their effort, um, resources to making sure that everybody has been supported over the last year that we've been doing this. You know, it's still an amazing thing in my mind that here we are a year later, closer and together and grown so much. And we're able to do this again. So you for everyone for making sure that that got to happen, right.

Kirk:

Yeah. I think, um, I just want to say I, I, I still get a lot of. I don't know. I still, a lot of people ask me like, Hey, you know, what happens when VC gets too big? Or what are we going to do when PC gets super big? And I'm like, well, I mean, you know, every community has growing pains, I think what makes me feel really happy and, um, really positive is no, every, every time I come into VC, I still see people being really, uh, warm and caring. I still see people supporting each other and the heavy channel. I still see people supporting each other and helping pairing. And I think the cool thing is there's a lot of folks who have been here since last Hacktoberfest. You know, you have folks who have been here for over a year with us, and that's amazing, but we also have a lot of new folks, know, folks with been here a month, two months, three months, and they are. Enjoying it, loving it and then making new friendships and supporting other people and being supportive themselves. And I don't know that just, it just always makes me, me feel really good every time I see someone who hasn't been here that long, but when we do our Friday gratitude or Wednesday shout outs, like, Hey, I really liked this space. And I really liked the people here and I want to help out. And, um, that makes me think that, you know, they're still doing that.

Dan:

Yeah, I would, uh, I, I would just echo both what you've all said. You know, this community is amazing and I'm very glad and proud to be part of it. And the members. What makes you know, what make it amazing. And, um, I don't know. I'm looking forward to another year. I, I am very, very pumped about Hacktoberfest this year. I'm very pumped about the things we have going on. The people that are going to be involved I've yet to brew up exactly how I'm going to, you know, try to. Murder myself at the end of the month, trying to redo something, but I'm sure I'll think of something. And I'm pumped about that to you honestly, because there was a lot of fun last year. Um, so yeah, I guess, I guess that's pretty much it. Um, if you want to keep up to date with us, uh, you know, subscribe to our newsletter, um, follow us on Twitter at, uh, Virtual Coffee IO, follow us somewhere.

Bekah:

To check out our site. We've got lots of good stuff on there.

Dan:

Yeah, we have a dope website. It's at Virtual Coffee.io. Um, subscribe on your podcast. Software of choice. If you have not done that yet, what are you supposed to say? Hit that something about,

Bekah:

hit like, no, as for YouTube, you can

Dan:

oh

Bekah:

our YouTube channel too. Cause we've got one

Dan:

Oh yeah. We have a YouTube channel. We have a YouTube channel. So subscribe to that.

Bekah:

on the podcast and leave us a message. It's always so great. When we get messages or reviews about our podcasts, when they're nice. We never got a mean one. So don't leave a mean one, but ones are good.

Dan:

Nice. All five stars only as Jason Concepcion would say on his podcast. Um, yes, we would love to hear from you. Um, if you have suggestions or, um, questions, comments hit us up on Twitter, slack, anything. Um, and yeah, I guess we will see you next season. Next season will drop, uh, beginning of October. So we're going to take you to take a month off podcast and we will be back a season. Uh, in October.

Kirk:

Bye for me, definitely.

Dan:

All right. Bye everyone.

Bekah:

Bye. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Virtual Coffee Podcast. This episode was produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Dan Ott. If you have questions or comments, you can hit us up on Twitter at VirtualCoffeeIO, or you can email us at podcast@virtualcoffee.io. You can find the show notes, plus you can sign up for our newsletter to find out what Virtual Coffee's been up to on our website at virtualcoffee.io.

Dan:

Please subscribe to our podcast and be sure to leave us a review. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next week.


The Virtual Coffee Podcast is produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Dan Ott.