Code like a girl

Code Like A Girl celebrated its second year by participating in National Science Week. Two Sydney Science Festival workshops – one for children and one for adults – covered all things coding at Domain headquarters in Pyrmont. Each was a great platform for introducing a number of technology concepts, skills and language to the participants.

The morning session saw 20 eager young girls aged 8 to 12 years learning core computational logic and concepts through coding Sphero, the app-enabled robotic ball, through obstacle courses and challenges.

The girls had to not only use their new-found coding skills, but also show teamwork and collaboration in progressing through each maze. Students also needed to practice perseverance and resilience having to continuously problem solve to fine tune and perfect their code.

The afternoon adult’s workshop was based around the web languages of HTML and CSS. Approximately 15 women, aged from 18 to over 50 attended. They learned about the importance of coding for the future and purpose it can serve in their everyday lives.

Students were taught how to create HTML documents and websites, followed by styling these, to their own taste, using CSS. Participants all walked away, impressed with their very own web page as well as a greater appreciation of the skill gone into creating websites.

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Participating in Sydney Science Festival provided a terrific opportunity for Code Like a Girl to reach a new audience. The workshops also provided a way for girls and women to come together, in a social and relaxed environment to have fun while learning about technology.

Code Like A Girl believes that equal representation of, engagement with and respect for, women and girls across all areas of tech is still vital. As such, these kinds of workshops that expose and normalise for girls and women participation in technology-based activities is essential.

Coding skills, exposure to technology and discussion on the various opportunities within the tech industry provides a tremendous starting point. Such Festivals highlight the need for diversity of experiences, perspectives and stories to build a world that is more empathetic, innovative and equal, particularly to the world of technology.

By engaging girls from a young age to learn how to code helps, we can ensure the participation of more women in tech – collectively working towards future proofing the workforce and tackling unemployment, as well as addressing sexism within the sector.

Such workshops stress the importance of providing role models for girls and young women to look up to, within the technology industry, ensuring that we secure long-term profitability for businesses and organisations.

Participants left the Sydney Science Festival workshops enthused and eager to further practise their new skills. Many of the young girls reported being pleased that they weren’t the only girl and that coding was in fact fun! A number of the women left the session with a new hobby and interest in a potential career change.

Guest post by Ally Watson, founder and CEO of Code Like a Girl. Find out more