.NET Foundation Campaign: Layla Porter

Who am I?

Hello! My name's Layla. I'm a self-taught web developer and Microsoft MVP.

I've had a varied career history, including being a Store Manager, trainer of Pilates teachers and a professional horse rider. However, like many people now, I was drawn to programming and have found a career I absolutely love To change my career I dedicated myself, over a period of 10 months, to reskilling and learning software development. Today, I am employed as a developer evangelist at Twilio, but I generally still code most days.

Why I'm Running

When I started my career change, there wasn't quite the same abundance of learning materials. I managed with various books and the Microsoft Virtual Academy. I still don't think there is an abundance.

I want to make .NET more accessible and enable more developers, perhaps themselves in other professions, to get into .NET. During the uncertain times of COVID-19, I have thrown myself into streaming .NET development on Twitch. I've been experimenting with several projects but I keep encountering a common theme that the .NET docs are not serving new developers as well as they could. With more tools and improved, more cohesive documentation, we could fuel bootcamps and educational institutes with all the tools that they need to set early-career developers on the .NET path.

I'm running for the board as I feel there is a huge hole to be filled if we are going to grow a diverse and thriving .NET community. We need to bring .NET to bootcamps, to schools and ultimately to businesses. .NET has everything - but why do we not have more uptake? Why do we still encounter all the same tired old opinions and tropes? If elected to the board of directors I would want to try and answer this question.

My .NET Contributions

When I started my coding journey, the first thing I did was join a local community meetup. Since then I have attended countless meetups, both domestically in the UK and internationally - and now I am the co-organiser of MK .NET, my local .NET meetup group.

I believe local communities are where better diversity can be cultivated. By building self-sustaining local communities that place a strong emphasis on being welcoming and inclusive, we can invite developers from all backgrounds, giving them the encouragement and support to upskill and change careers.

I have spoken at conferences across Europe and N. America, sharing my love of the C# language and .NET. I blog for the Twilio website, all my content is created to serve the .NET community.

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