Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

Empowering women by women with Informatica Feminale

This story is my story explaining how I came to be a lecturer at Informatica Feminale(IF). What is Informatica Feminale? It’s an annual summer university program where women aim to empower other women. It’s also much more, especially to me.

Bremen University started Informatica Feminale in 1997 as the first women-only courses offered by a German research university. Since then, its concept has successfully been transferred to national and international sister projects. It has created a place for developing and exploring new methods for gender equality in the scientific sector.

The program’s starting point is clearly professional: to activate women in Informatics (Computer Science) to create a place of exchange for themselves and other women interested in this discipline. This exchange is based on professional and technical topics, but also includes a personal level by means of intensive communication.

Since 2014 was declared “German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation,” IF’s scientific director, Veronika Oechtering, proposed introducing Turkish to the program, and 16 Turkish women were accepted with full scholarship.

I was the one of them and it totally changed my world. Fifteen days passed full of fun, new friendship and lots of technical information for all of us. For example, I took Agile Development with NodeJS course from Franziska Hinkelmann currently a developer at Chrome. She is one of the best! Another course I took was Network Simulation and Modeling from Dr. Anna Förster and this course was full of fun for me. We used Omnet++ to modelling real life simulations. I loved the every bit of the course.

After Iattended to the IF 2014 as a student, I wanted to be part of the team and encourage women as a lecturer. I opened Web Application Security 101 course at IF 2015 and IF 2016.

Web Application Security 101 Course at 2015

IF program was not only encourage women in the computer sciences. It also brings together people from different races, cultures and backgrounds and challenges them to work and create something together. Moreover, IF always sets aside time for a Job Forum day, where students and companies come together and talk about job opportunities. For example, Intel comes to Job Forum and interviews students and talks about postgraduate support programs.

Participation in the event and the number of courses are increasing every year. During the event, there’s a large group of women eager to be involved with everything and everyone. Even child care service is included. To participate as a student you don’t need to be a student, you only need to be a women.

Of course, there is a woman who has dedicated herself to this matchless organization: Veronika Oechtering. She is the scientific manager of Bremen University Women’s Competence Center in Nature and Technical Sciences.

As you might imagine, Veronika’s workforce is comprised of women, and besides taking care of every women who participate to IF, she is charged with shaping the entire organization and its future. I am grateful to know her.

If you would like to participate to this program as a student or lecturer for IF 2018, I always tweet all important news about the program(call for course, applications, etc…), feel free to follow me on Twitter.

If you have further questions about the program feel free to contact with me, either.