It’s no secret that tech companies continue to be a boy’s club – today women make up only 15% of technical roles at tech companies. Luckily, there is a movement gaining momentum to reverse that trend. Leading the way are organizations like Made with Code, Black Girls Code, and Girl Develop It, which urge women not to be intimidated by code.
Another one of these inspiring organizations is Django Girls. Created by “the Olas”, Ola Sitarska and Ola Sendecka, Django Girls provides resources and support by way of online tutorial and workshops with expert coaches to help female attendees build a blog from scratch.
In less than a year after it’s founding, Django Girls workshops have been held in 24 countries all over the world, a testament to the growing interest many women are expressing in code. The online tutorial, an easily digestible intro to the Django framework and Python language, is used for the workshop but has been used by over 30,000 people online.
I recently attended a Django Girls event in New York which felt like a birthday party and workshop combined. With free food, booze, a photo booth and balloons, attendees were made to feel like VIPs. Guest speakers, male and female, told their personal stories about getting started with code and overcoming impostor syndrome and insecurities.
One day is not enough to learn how to code, but in the industry, sometimes a little bit can go a long way. Beginners can use resources like Stack Overflow or find meetups to ask questions and work through technical obstacles.
Before we wrapped up the workshop, all the girls were sent home with a rubber duck that represented a powerful message. In “rubber duck programming” developers who hit a wall talk through their problem to a rubber duck. The theory is that talking through a problem is often all that’s needed to find the solution.
I really liked taking part in Django Girls. Take a look at their events page. Hopefully there’s one on the calendar near you.
For more information about gender diversity in technology and computing check out National Center for Women and Information Technology.
Some more photos from the Django Girls NYC event in March: