Code Like A Girl
A sticker that became so much more.
I started the concept of Code Like a Girl with a sticker a year ago. I had been invited to participate in the Think About Math workshop for girls in grade 9. As a mentor I would get 8 minutes to tell a group of 5–8 girls my story and why I chose a career in tech. In total I spoke with about 20 groups of girls. When preparing for the event I started racking my brain for something they could take home to help reinforce my message. Stickers I thought! I liked the idea that by placing stickers on their binders, books, or school bags they would remember my talk and my message that girls can and should consider careers in technology. It was also exciting to think that other girls at their schools would also see my message. I started looking online for cool stickers about girls coding. I found next to nothing and what I did find was prohibitively expensive. I realized the only solution was to make my own!
After some thought I knew I would like to incorporate the statement: Code Like a Girl in the sticker. It is a strong statement that implies when you Code Like a Girl your work is awesome. I didn’t want the sticker to be just words though. I wanted a logo with it, but I didn’t have a lot of time to do it. After some horrific attempts at a design (just because I can code does not imply I should design anything… ever…), I decided to use vistaprint to create a logo and had 80 stickers made for the event. I mistakenly thought that would be enough! Not only did all the girls want them, so did the other professional women at the event! It was a success.
Shortly after the Think About Math event I started doing more speaking engagements and events to get girls involved in tech as well as help advocate for women in technology based fields.
Another great event I participated in was the Ms Infinity conference in Guelph for girls in grades 8–12. I taught four one hour Scratch workshops, each to a different group of 20–30 girls. The girls had a great time and created some pretty pretty cool programs in just an hour.
Along with participating in events, conferences, and workshops I use social media as a platform to advocate for women in tech and getting girls involved in technology.
The idea that Code Like a Girl could be something more than a sticker started to form in my mind. I wanted to create a space that celebrates breaking down society’s perceptions of how women in technology. I needed a place that could bring together all the different things I was doing to advocate for girls and women in technology. In July I shared these thoughts with my friend Kristina Foster. She had the wonderful idea of creating a website as a central location for the work I was doing. Kristina did a fantastic job creating a mobile site that we launched in December 2015.
This is just the beginning. We have plans for a new logo and a full desktop ready site that will have more features and information than the current mobile site. However, since we both have fulltime day jobs it may take us some time to get there.
I’m launching a Facebook page for code like a girl where I’ll be posting related events, articles, and notes.
I encourage you to like the page so you can keep abreast of all the awesome things that will encourage our girls to code and advocate for women in tech.
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