Operation Code DC - August 2018

08.29.20183 Min Read — In Operation Code

On August 28th, 2018, about 28 military, veterans, military spouses, and civilian allies gathered at Capitol Post to relaunch Operation Code's DC chapter. I think that's a pretty great turnout for a new event put together by someone totally inexperienced with putting together meetups (me). I was really struck by the enthusiasm and energy of all of the attendees, and I'm really looking forward to see the great things we accomplish for transitioning military, veterans, and military spouses in the greater DC metro area!

I'm super thankful to Capitol Post / Bunker Labs DC for letting us host our event in their space! Emily McMahan and Elizabeth Watson have been super supportive of me personally over the past few years when I made a transition from government into startups, and I really appreciate that they've been able to help me bootstrap the DC chapter. Emily McMahan is an absolute force of nature in DC veteran entrepreneurship community, and I am consciously trying to follow her lead in connecting veterans in software development and technical roles. If you're thinking about coworking and want a veteran-centric environment, please check out Capitol Post!

The event also would not have been possible if it weren't for my fantastic coworkers at Decipher Tech Studios, who sponsored a delicious platter of Chick-Fil-A, helped man the door and elevator after the building went into lockdown at 6pm, and generally reduced the logistical burden of getting things stood up. Best of all, Decipher is enthusiastic about hiring veterans into development roles! Thanks so much!

So I opened the formal portion of the night with a brief discussion of my vision for Operation Code in the Washington DC metro. Though our mission is large, I tried to keep it brief. I hope I did okay!

Then I retreated from the podium to let our esteemed speakers take over, both of whom did an amazing gif-worthy job!

Kristof Ladny gave a great talk on his path from Infantry to Data Science (by way of consulting). You can really see that great consulting training in his open yet firm posture and arm movements.

Gabby Quatse talked about her transition from being an Aviation Officer flying Blackhawks to an Engineering Director at Parsons. She offered many great suggestions for how to manage transition and rebrand yourself without losing balance in your life. Notice how her hand motions suggest that you can shape your personal brand as easily as manipulating a ball of clay.

After the talks, networking continued for quite a while! I was pleased to see that we like each other.

If you made the event, please drop some comments about your experience below! We thrive on your feedback. Please also post your photos to the Meetup event to have a shot at winning our prizes for best photo and most photobombs!

If you didn't make the event, I've linked a recording of the talks and the slides below!

I'll be making an announcement in the next week or so on our Meetup page, but if you can't wait for your next sweet sweet hit of Operation Code goodness, I suggest the following

  • Would you like to be able to talk to Operation Code members nationwide 24/7 via Slack? If so, head to the Operation Code webpage to complete a short form and then get e-mailed an invite to our private Slack community, containing folks working in just about area of technology.

  • Do you have any interest in speaking to our community? Does your DC company want to create an apprenticeship or direct hire opportunities for veterans and milspouses? Is there someone doing similar work that I should connect with? Do you have interest in helping to organize the chapter? If any of these are a yes, drop me a message!

  • Would you or your employer like to make a tax deductible to Operation Code DC? If so, check out our OpenCollective. Individuals can pledge $5 / month and companies can sponsor our chapter for $100 / month. We also accept flexible one-time donations. Til next time, ✌️✌️