11 Resources for Women Who Want to Learn to Code
“ Okay, ladies, now let’s get this CSS in formation.”
It’s great to see office spaces celebrating #InternationalWomensDay, but for women around the world, every single day is international women’s day. That includes dealing in harsh realities for women who code — who at this point are rarer than unicorns, flying pigs, and Star Wars fans who don’t have strong opinions about The Last Jedi.
We need more female programmers. We need more ladies who code. We need more women stepping up as tech entrepreneurs.
We need more women in tech. Period.
Only 3% of women said a job in technology was their first choice. And only 5% of leaders in the IT sector are women.
This is despite the fact that women are better developers. A 2016 study found that of 3 million pull requests submitted on GitHub, code written by women was approved at nearly 79% compared to male-written code being approved at 74.6%. The study also found that women had such success largely due to their gender being visible only from personal accounts and not to the public.
One developer told the Guardian,
“I have considered how wise it is to have a gender-obvious profile and to me, being identifiably female is really important. I want people to realize that the minorities do exist. And for the minorities themselves: to be able to see that they aren’t the only ones … it can certainly feel that way some days.”
And even among the women who code, there’s a growing trend to relegate lady coders to lower paying front-end development rather than higher paying back-end work.
One of the biggest ways to improve those numbers? Get more women into the space. Slay the notions that women shouldn’t succeed in STEM or that they’re somehow less equipped to succeed in IT.
At Solodev, we know that it’s more than waiting for the “next generation” of young girls to grow into the development space. We believe that anyone can learn to code as easily as they would any other skill. While you might not want a career change, having those skills handy will give anyone — male or female — more room to leverage important opportunities like a salary increase or diversifying the portfolio.
These resources — created by mostly by women for men, women, boys and girls — can help women break those barriers.
This program was developed by a mom for other moms wanting to expand their skill sets. MotherCoder locations offers on-site daycare for participants. It also offers the ability for women who code the chance to organize and host their own MotherCoders events. At the very least, check out their incredibly resourceful blog.
They podcast, they teach, they run a bomb blog, and they’re women-owned. We’re big fans of the team at Skillcrush because they offer actionable content in a variety of formats that talk about industry-specific issues. And it might just be tailored for the ladies, but gentleman — it would be wise to read up on the Skillcrush blog as well. Shout-out to the entire C-suite/executive team comprised of only women, the mostly women-led mentoring team, and the few guys (Scott, Brian, and Max) who love working in an environment that openly challenges the normal ‘brogramming’ stereotypes.
Know a young woman who wants to pick up programming? Since its foundation over five years ago, Girls Who Code has become a global movement to close the gender gap by teaching girls with little exposure to coding how to become a programmer. It now formally includes over 40,000 participants in all 50 U.S. states, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping.
Skillshare — How to Make Apps with No Programming Experience
Have a great idea for an app but don’t know how to transform that into a business? This tutorial walks users through the ups and downs in a straightforward course from Skillshare. And one of the best parts? Skillshare’s first month is completely free.
An organization that started in Finland, Rail Girls provides women with the tools and community to “understand technology and to build their ideas.” The non-profit offers opportunities to learn coding in Ruby, Python, and other languages.
If you’re wanting to get into coding and starting from the basics, Khan Academy is an excellent free resource for anyone. Given the go-as-you-want nature of the Academy’s courses, users can pick up and drop classes whenever they need. Sure, Khan Academy might be marketed to younger users, but the platform serves as a great playground for learning new skills.
No, this Coursera class about Python doesn’t have anything specifically to do with women. It’s just a really good course about a language that’s quickly becoming one of the most valuable skills to have.
Speaking of learning Python, Pyladies helps women around the world learn Python and then empower them to become active members within the coding community. Be sure to check in with their blog because they host meetups around the world (and yes, men are also invited to attend).
Other Resources for Women in IT:
The largely female-led team at MarTech Exec publishes incredible, actionable content daily about ways to further brand success online. They get into the nitty-gritty of content, commerce, and occasionally code. They also compile lists of female leaders in the MarTech space who are must-follows for any female entrepreneur (or MarTech worker regardless of gender).
Looking to become a better business woman? Fairy God Boss reviews companies in terms of workplace diversity, females in leadership, and an honest look at gender/wage disparities. They also provide some great content featuring other leaders from across all industries, and FGB boasts a community to answer any questions women in business could have about their careers.
Yeah, yeah, we get it. It looks like a smug little self-congratulatory pat on the back by putting ourselves on this list. BUT before you roll your eyes a second time, know that we’re a female-owned tech company who values putting just as many females behind our code as males. If you want a few specialty tutorials, our blog serves as a great one-stop shop for a variety of specialty elements — everything ranging from forms to navigation to basic image displays. And we offer tutorials in a variety of languages as well! Check it out, and while you’re there, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t have to keep trying to find this link in your browser history. (We know how busy you are. We’ve got you covered.)
Women who code, what resources helped you along your journey? Who inspired you to start programming despite the industry’s “boys’ club” reputation? Leave your favorite resources in the comments below!
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