Love Letter to Our Alumni By: Sarah Foot & Iskender Piyale-Sheard To our weird nerdy little (but not actually that little, there are over a 1000 of you now) family: The day we first met you… you remember the one? That skip-along-the-sidewalk evening at your first event at Lighthouse Labs. You were on your own (or at least it felt that way). Nervous, excited, shy. You asked questions about classes, getting a job, and quietly tapped notes into your phone. That was where it all started. We wrote to each other a few times and finally found ourselves in a room together, talking about you. Your future, your aspirations, your dreams of being imbued with the gift of painting broad strokes on the canvas of the world of technology using only a keyboard as your brush. A week or two passed by, and with cheek-to-cheek smiles on our faces, we welcomed you into our home. On that first Day One, sitting silently amongst a pod of eager students you murmured a brief, but quirky,summary of who you are. You eased back into your chair, right next to Garrett, who had a recurring role in a Chinese soap opera. On the other side you had Josh, who baked a loaf of bread for the Prime Minister of Canada. Across the table was Carmen, who sees a little ghost girl whenever she has sleep paralysis. Scattered amongst students coming from every stretch of land on Earth, from the glimmering beaches of Indonesia to the snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps, speaking languages from Arabic, Hindi and Somali to Mandarin, German, or French, we appreciated you for being you. By adding your soul to our hearty stew of personalities, no matter who you are, what you did, and where you come from, we knew it was only going to make us stronger. Where are you now? You make up a dev army that spans coast to coast. With over 1000 of our alumni, you’re bound to meet one at a community event in any major Canadian city - probably the smaller ones, too! Moving to a new place is never that scary once you’re in the LHL community - there’s always a Demo Day to attend. Whether you’re in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax or in between - you know there’s a safe place for you to connect with likeminded folks passionate about programming and community. But what’s home? Your dev community. You volunteer your time with us! With Ladies Learning Code, the First Nations Technology Council, Women Who Code, and Black Girls Code to name a few. You give a heck about the world around you and know to start with your community to make a change. You care about learning and growth. You care about future developers and best practices. You remember that ah-ha feeling you had with Karl, Khurram, Juan or Don and you want to help a future dev feel the same. We’ve seen you grow, shine and reach new heights and our eyes sparkle when we see you, wide-eyed and excited, clickity-clacking away on your keyboard, breathing your life into your code ...and into our dorky little hearts. We love you <3. Thanks for being part of our family.