Languages: Code

by Pauline on March 15th 2016

 

Most people already know this but I love project work. There’s something about having a team with differing specialties, all with great ideas, managing everyone to their ability and working together towards a set target that really makes me have an optimistic mindset for team-based work.

So, my first project for this semester was focusing on encouraging young people to sign up for organ donation We could use any form of media to promote the campaign.

I thought of making a responsive website – to sort of stand out from the many others making posters – with the audience-specific marketing technique to capture their attention. Overall, it was such a great project which I had fun being a part of – I mostly just coded the website and put everyone’s ideas together. Any excuse to code is a motivation in itself! 👍🏻

You can view the campaign here, it is theoretical so none of the links or forms works. I even managed to impress an employer with the site and received glowing feedback, which I am thrilled of!

A lot of people were shocked by my ability to code. I had one girl on my course say, “Wow! That’s amazing!! Literally, NO GIRL talks about coding and it’s not a girly hobby!”

I found this quite funny because I grew up in this blogosphere where everyone I know is talented web developers/designers.

Although I’m not sure if it was entirely a compliment, I took it as one, because of all the years I’ve been coding and blogging people wouldn’t look at it positively and it’d be heavily criticized.

At university, it’s a lot different.

People are actually impressed by my ability and talk about it in a positive light, which is refreshing. I feel like I can finally tell people about coding skills and blog without feeling self-conscious of what they might think or fearful of what sexist comments might be said. I’ve also inspired my girlfriends to code too, which is super exciting because:

  1. Front-end web talk has made it into my regular conversations now.
  2. I feel like I’m using my voice to get other girls into a traditionally male-dominated field, which is, even if the contribution is tiny – feels great!

Debugging the gender gap

This brings me on to my next project: Code First: Girls. As you may not know, Code First is a business whose aim is to encourage ladies into coding and hacking their careers! Proving the fact that: coding and tech aren’t just a boy’s club.

Although it was a beginner’s course and I know I’m definitely no beginner (nor expert) but I did decide to join because:

  • Being self-taught in coding, I wanted to run through the basics anyway to ensure I didn’t miss anything. I did learn new things, mainly Bootstrap, though – I finally understand it. Finally.
  • Be a part of a like-minded group of bright girls who want to code! A girl’s code club. Love it.
  • I wanted to set out sometime during the week to code, I’ve been looking into the tech industry as a possible route after I graduate.

I’m actually really happy with this project because it’s the first time I got to successfully get Bootstrap actually working. You can see the project here – changing Bootstrap’s long and complicated stylesheet was probably the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in my life, haha.

There was a little competition at the end where we could see other people’s work, I was impressed by how everyone could code up a great website from scratch in under 6 weeks.

I know it took me a while when I was learning for the first time – definitely more than 6 weeks; group work, discussions and amazing instructors helped greatly!

If you’re interested,  you can view live tweets and other images of other groups websites through the hashtag on Twitter .

The CodeFirst Team!

The CodeFirst Team. #WomenInTech

Being surrounded by a group of like-minded girls was wonderful, I’m actually pretty sad it’s ended now. The extra-curricular two-hour course was always the highlight of my Tuesday nights!

 

What I gained from the course:

  • Great enhancement to my existing coding skills
  • Strengthened my problem-solving skills – writing code is never right the first time and problems are encountered along the way, but it does get easier!
  • Found a promising community where I got to share my long time passion of coding with.
  • Awesome new coding friends!

< conclusion >

Attending and seeing a number of girls present and absolutely rocking it, really empowered me to step into my future career in science or technology1.

I’m happy that I’ve been able to encourage my girlfriends and others to code2 and to continue breaking the boundaries of science, tech, and engineering! #GirlPower

Let’s face it, not everything is “man” made.3 

</conclusion>


1. Which are traditionally seen as male dominated, but we’re breaking down those traditions one step at a time

2. And some have already started!

3. Reference to this YouTube video by Microsoft for International Women’s Day 2016


Posted under: Code First: Girls, Tech, University, Women Empowerment


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31 comments

  1. Gretch says:

    To be honest, I find the idea of donating organs a bit freaky. It’s a good cause though, and you are so passionate about it, so kudos for you for making a change in the world!

    Coding can be frustrating and infuriating but once you successful make it work, ah the success is blissful~ haha. Congrats on finding some friends who share the same passion as you! And good luck on your projects~

  2. Jamie says:

    More girls SHOULD be into coding. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in C# or anything like that, which typically, it is a male dominated field. I was quite shocked to hear this when I was taking my Web Development class. There was only one other girl, besides myself, who was present at the time. I will always encourage girls to learn code. It is so much fun!

    I’m glad you were able to impress everyone! It is very difficult to come up with something unique and that hasn’t been done already. I really like it!

    Have you ever thought or considered to be certified in HTML and CSS by Microsoft? I am considering this and even purchased the book for it. My professor was telling me he took it several times and failed it before he passed it. This is due to the way it’s been worded. I really would love to become certified by Microsoft. I don’t think a lot of people who do code realizes this.

    I was learning Bootstrap due to a friend of mine and my professor who both recommend that I learn it. I tried but failed the first time around. If I had more time, I would probably get it right off the bat. I will learn it (when I have more time).

  3. Amy says:

    Wow, sounds like you’ve been really busy! I never really liked group work at uni, but that’s probably because creative writing has always been a solo activity for me. Glad to hear you had a great time with it though!

    I’m trying to brush up my coding skills at the moment. It’s just really hard to find the time to dedicate to it – I should have focussed on it more while I was at uni. Good luck with improving your skills!
    Xxx

  4. Jeanie says:

    I love how this post empowers women to not get intimidated on coding! Really loving it! Ever since I blog during my high school days which I am probably 14 years back then, I always wanted to be a professional web developer. It has always been my dream because the feeling when the code works leaves you a magical feeling. I started learning Bootstrap recently too and it was really fun!!I have checked your projects and it was all amazing! Keep up the good work! I would like to congratulate you on a succesful project!!
    Group projects are awesome if everyone cooperates, it is even more exciting if every member is contributing ideas. yay!

  5. Awesome job! You should be proud of yourself! =D

  6. Ella says:

    I’m almost in my 3rd year of comp sci and I have absolutely no girlfriends in any of my classes. If I had time to join groups, I would do so just to make friends and have some girls to talk about coding and techy stuff.

    Your project looks awesome! Keep it up and good luck with your courses. =)

  7. Michelle says:

    Apology accepted 😀 I’m kidding. It’s fine, because real world is important to do and it sounds like you’ve been busy with a lot of things. I’m grateful you’re doing good regardless. Stay good, girl!

  8. Claudine says:

    Coding is for everyone, not just boys! I studied in an all-girls school and our curriculum always includes programming subjects, and we study different languages per year. I’m also lucky to be employed in a company that encourages everyone to learn coding. 🙂 Coding can be difficult and even frustrating but seeing your creation running smoothly is a great feeling. Totally worth it!

    It’s great that you were able to impress everyone! You worked hard for this project so you really deserve all the praise you’re getting 😀

  9. Tara says:

    Woot for projects! I am not fond of team projects, though, because I like working alone on most things, but team projects can definitely be fun and have more advantage than working alone.

    Yay for encouraging girls to code. I admit that coding isn’t for me. I’ve tried it, but it was just too complicated for me. It was easier for me to grasp HTML and CSS, but not the actual coding languages. Yet I think it’s great that men and women learn to code. Whoever says coding, maths, and sciences are men-only field, need a bop on the head!

  10. Nancy says:

    Being busy is good in a way that you’re making something out of yourself XD. It’s awesome when you’re doing hands-on work rather than sitting in lectures.

    Your idea of making a website to promote organ donation sounds great! With the technology world we live in today, utilizing its features is important and effective. I get the same comments you do whenever I show people my coding skillzz. It’s weird to hear that because the blogosphere is full of girls! *o*. (or at least in the one I’m used to XD).

    Hopefully you’ll bring your projects to the next level as time goes by! Looking forward to hearing your success story ;). Congratulations on getting bootstrap to work! I have to say, it’s pretty tricky at first but you’ll grow to love it within time.

  11. Kya says:

    The projects look really great and I think it is so wonderful that everyone was so happy with the results, you should be really proud. 😀

    I need to do a bit of a refresher with learning how to properly implement Bootstrap or figure out what I want to do and continue to make designs, it has been a while and I do miss it. Coding teaches you a lot of things and it’s great solving the problems that arise. 😀

  12. Cat says:

    That’s a great idea to do a responsive website for the project! I feel like that’s more relevant to the current times than a poster since there’s a website for everything. I’m glad it went so well!

    It’s very unfortunate that the tech industry is so male dominated, and that it’s still so hard for females to be seen as equals in it. I was very lucky to go through a female friendly Computer Science program and to be at a software company that treats us equally. I used to think it was weird for there to be programs focused on girls in coding, but now I realize how important those are. We need to encourage more women to get into the tech industry! I’m glad you had a good experience with Code First!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m glad you think it’s a good idea, I thought it would be much more relevant to the target audience and everyone’s online nowadays so I was thinking why not! ?

      That’s great to hear, I know some girls aren’t always welcomed with open arms!