tl;dr: Fill out this form. Contribute to a great cause. Learn that thing you've been putting off.
A year and change ago I did a Getting Git workshop at my coworker spot in Seattle, Office Nomads.
Getting bootstrapped--self-sufficient--on new technologies is tough, especially if you don't have a good relationship with someone experienced. Conferences and user groups can be intimidating and rarely offer opportunities to dig in from the beginning--especially for more than the length of a 50-minute presentation.
I've learned a lot of fun technology since I left Microsoft 5 years ago--has it been that long?--in no small part because people in the know were kind enough to show me the way.
There are three pieces of tech I love showing people and I feel--at least compared to beginners--I can offer a great starting point:
- Ruby on Rails
- Google Closure Compiler and Libraries - used to build Agent 008 Ball, among other things at Pixel Lab.
The price of admission? A donation to United Republic -- a group dedicated to getting money out of politics.
You get to learn some great tech and we both get a warm fuzzy helping out a great organization.