Back to school season is here, and with it comes opportunities to learn, network and support tech causes you care about. Attend a hackathon (open to all!) at a renovated macaroni factory, support tech opportunities for women and girls, and get your conf on at the mega Rails event of the season.
Open Source Open Mic: At this casual meetup, developers and those interested in open source software (think: sharing is caring for the tech world) give short lightning talks about working with open source code over pizza, beer and soda. (DRW, 540 W Madison St, Sept 2, 5:30pm. Free)
OpenBuild: LACUNA: Put on by hackathon organizers MonkeyBars, the OpenBuild event at Lacuna Artist Lofts promises to be unlike any other hackathon, if only for the surroundings (a refurbished, grafitti-filled macaroni factory). Though aimed at hackers and technologists, OpenBuild welcomes all kinds of creators and has some seriously killer prizes, such as airfare to Miami and Bulls tickets. (Lacuna Artist Lofts, 2150 S Canalport Ave, Sept 12, 11am and Sept 13, 3pm. Free)
Codefidant Soiree: This mini gala at Galleria Marchetti benefits ChickTech, an organization that connects women and girls to tech-centric workshops. Help this organization get its Chicago chapter off the ground and mingle with other folks passionate about closing the tech gender gap. (Galleria Marchetti, 825 W Erie St, Sept 16, 8pm. $75)
Windy City Rails: An annual gathering for all those passionate about Ruby on Rails, this epic two-day conference is for anyone interested in improving their technical skills and networking with other developers from around the country. The speaker list includes lots of prominent Chicago developers, like Sarah Mei and Noel Rappin. (VenueOne, 1034 W Randolph St, Sept 17, 9:15am and Sept 18, 9:15am. $499)
EdTech Night: Meet Educators Who Learned to Code: At this panel at coding school Dev Bootcamp, hear from educators who learned how to code. Some returned to education as technologists working in EdTech, while others made complete career transitions. (Dev Bootcamp, 351 West Hubbard St, #701. Sept 23, 6pm. Free)