Barracuda recently had the pleasure of hosting and sponsoring a programming workshop with the Ann Arbor branch of Girl Develop It. It was a fun experience for all of us, and a great learning experience for the attendees.
Girl Develop It (GDI) is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. GDI was founded in New York in 2010 and now has 35,000 members in 46 chapters around the country. Through in-person training and community support, GDI seeks to improve the standing of women in technology related careers:
- Women hold only 26% of the approximately four million computing related occupations in the US
- Women obtain 57% of bachelor’s degrees in the U.S, but fewer than 18% of those degrees are in computer science.
- Women in tech make approximately 13% less than their male counterparts
- Only 11% of executives and approximately 20% of software developers in Silicon Valley are women.
And a quick search can reveal many more examples reinforcing the need for programs like GDI.
Here in Ann Arbor, GDI was founded in the summer of 2014 by Julie Cameron and Ronda Bergman. The Ann Arbor chapter has held dozens of meetups since then, all of which offer something unique to members:
- Coffee and code: Informal meetings offering nerdettes a chance to get feedback on projects
- Design: Responsive design, mobile development, UX, etc.
Barracuda recently sponsored Intro to Programming Concepts, which was a workshop designed for true beginners. The class was taught by Talia Selitsky and covered concepts like loops, variables, and if/then/else statements. We had about 45 nerdettes attend the workshop, and 6 professional developers assisted Talia in making sure the attendees had all the help they needed in putting these concepts into practice.
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Really enjoyed this event. I appreciated the helpful examples we were able to test regarding the logic in coding. I always leave GDI events feeling so inspired!
The Programming Concepts workshop was great – both in terms of content and atmosphere. Hats off to GDI. I originally tracked down GDI while looking for hands-on tech experiences for my daughter, but feel lucky that I have found it to be a place for me too. I am not in the field – research – but will keep going because my daughter just started with Scratch. I'm making sure she sees this field as a potential place for her. Thank you GDI!
Met some new people, and all the experts were very helpful in addressing individual challenges with both a prompt and positive demeanor. Thanks Barracuda and GDI!
I *totally* had a blast at tonight's “Intro to Programming Concepts!” This, my new interest and journey, is going to be a fun one. Thank you, GDI, for making this happen. : )
Made to feel very welcome. I could not believe there was food too! Super informative, hands on, paced well, many experts on hand to help. I can't speak highly enough of this event. I look forward to more intensive learning on specific languages. Please offer the Ruby session soon!
We will also be sponsoring an Intro to Java workshop April 11-12. You can get details on that here.
If you would like to get involved with GDI Ann Arbor, try these links:
Related: Why we love Girl Develop It
Christine Barry is Senior Chief Blogger and Social Media Manager at Barracuda. In this role, she helps bring Barracuda stories to life and facilitate communication between the public and Barracuda internal teams. Prior to joining Barracuda, Christine was a field engineer and project manager for K12 and SMB clients for over 15 years. She holds several technology credentials, a Bachelor of Arts, and a Master of Business Administration. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.