Here Are The 10 Coding Initiatives That Prove Girls Can Code Too
Note: This post was first published on the 24th Nov, 2014.
One of the biggest conversations that is rife in cyberspace is about the ratio of women in tech. The issue wasn’t that there aren’t great women in tech but that there aren’t enough of them. And as the diversity reports from each tech giant show, the imbalance needs some rectifying.
Google decided to lead the way by establishing Made With Code to teach girls coding but their endeavor isn’t the only one.
These nine initiatives aim to break down the stereotype that women are not interested in coding and computer science. And they do this by reaching out to girls and inculcating in them a love for coding.
Many of these initiatives started small and localized but have since expanded across the nation and gained a global presence.
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1. Made With Code
We’ll start by highlighting Google’s initiative which was launched in June 19, 2014. Made With Code is a community-based site filled with fun projects to encourage girls to learn coding.
The site also hosts additional resources for parents and teachers and a notice board for events. There is also a Mentors, and Makers section: both highlight stories of women who code for a living. [Visit site]
2. Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code, which can be considered America’s national coding initiative for girls, back in 2012.
Still going strong, the non-profit organization conducts summer camps and helps start computer science clubs to train high school girls to code. Tech giants back the camps, and their participants get to meet key people in the tech industry. [Visit site]
3. Hackbright Academy
The Hackbright Academy markets itself as a software development program exclusively for women. Founded by Christian Fernandez and David J. Phillips, Hackbright Academy organizes proper coding courses throughout the year.
There is no age limit for enrolment, and participants are between the ages of 20 and 40. Classes are conducted hands-on with a qualified instructor from the tech industry. [Visit site]
4. Rails Girls
Rails Girls, which was started in Helsinki, Finland in November 2010, holds events all over the world, to equip girls and women with tools and technical knowledge.
Being a non-profit that caters to the international community, their site hosts materials for organizing workshops and also guides in various languages. It also carries events listings and there is a blog that details its activities.
5. Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It is a non-profit that provides coding classes for women founded by Sara Chipps and Vanessa Hurst back in 2010. Classes are made to be affordable and are available at many cities across America. In fact, each city has its own chapter, which organizes hackathons and tech-related events on top of classes.
Vidcode, a Kickstarter project, is a web app that helps girls to learn code by applying effects to video. Creators Alexandra Diracles and Melissa Halfon came up with the concept after discovering that girls like to pair up programming with their hobbies.
The app they created teaches code by displaying the code when the effects are applied on the video and explaining the code in simple language on a sidebar.
7. Code First: Girls
For ladies living in the UK, this is for you. Code First: Girls aims to help young women currently attending university as they enter the workforce after their studies. They also offer courses for graduates but it’s only limited to the general London area at the moment. Other events that they organize include hackathons and tech career talks.
8. Girls Teaching Girls to Code
Now this deserves special mention for the way it conducts events. Girls Teaching Girls To Code is a program where female students from Standford’s Computer Science Department teach computer science to high school girls
Not only do they help pass on the love for coding to their younger peers, but these university students also serve as mentors to the younger girls. Sisterhood for the win.
9. Black Girls Code
Like most of the initiatives, Black Girls Code not only wants to bridge the gender gap in tech but also the wage gap.
Founder Kimberly Bryant launched the initiative in April of 2011, introducing coding to girls aged 7-17 through workshops and after-school programs. Black Girls Code also organizes workshops on robotics and throw hackathons which is inclusive of hosting talks from women already working in tech.