Beginning BrainStation

Today, I start BrainStation in the full time Web Development bootcamp. For the next 10 weeks, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, I’m coding. I won’t be teaching and probably not responding to a heck of a lot during that time, but I’ll be around.
The timing for this was perfect. I have about a month off from teaching between semesters anyway and figured, why not use the time to my advantage? I’m not missing a whole semester, but only 6 weeks of teaching, representing May and June. I plan on returning to Sheridan College for the July/August portion of the semester, but who knows how long that will last?
I know a lot of stuff, but only in bits and pieces. I’ve learned that I have trouble learning on my own time, at my own pace, so dedicating the time to this, without other obligations is the only way I’m going to get this done.
Why BrainStation? Firstly, they start us off nice and easy with HTML and CSS. This gives me a chance to get back into the swing of things and get accustomed to being a student again, rather than a teacher. Let someone else be responsible for being in front of the room and doing the slides. I’ll just sit and learn. Second, the schedule fit perfectly with the timing of what was going to work for me. Lastly, but certainly not least, I got an automatic $1,000 scholarship for being a woman in technology from BrainStation. It didn’t hurt that they are one of the educational partners for DevTO and that it turns out that I know one of the admissions officers.
So here’s me, off on my first day as a student…again. Will try to write as frequently as I can, but know that I’m going to be focussing on other things. That being said, looking forward to seeing what opportunities the future holds. I may even be looking for my next opportunity when this is all over. Hope you will join me on this journey!
And hey, I even started using Instagram. Find me @ShantaDotCa.


First day of new life @brainstation. #coding #inspiration

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How To Get Started With Your Website – Presentation

Yesterday I had the privilege of presenting to the Co-Connector space in Scarborough. This was a presentation for beginners in their companies, and while the group was small, there were some amazing questions. I’ve updated the slides to include some of our conversations and I look forward to coming back!

WordPress 102 Video – WordCamp Hamilton 2016

Thanks to everyone who came out last year to my WordPress 102 talk at WordCamp Hamilton. I just realized I hadn’t updated my website to include the video from that presentation, so I thought I’d catch up. Would love to hear your feedback and hope to see you at a WordCamp near you!

Popular WordPress Plugins

Many of our students in the Advanced Web Design Course at Sheridan College in the CCIT program have asked about popular plugins. These students are not typically leaving their program to be web designers or developers, but they tend to be the managers.  I’ve put together some of the more popular ones to give them a start. We look at security, backups and optimization in a separate presentation, but these are plugins that help with the appearance and functionality of the front end, more or less. One of the ones not listed is Advanced Custom Fields, mainly because we actually used this in class. Something that everyone can use. These are meant for more of the case by case websites. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Would love to hear your thoughts!


WordCamp US 2016 Photos

I know it’s been a long time since WordCamp US, but here are my photos from the amazing time in Philadelphia. It’s been a busy few weeks.

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