one hundred + fifty-two

by Pauline on February 6th 2017

Beginners course

I’ve been pretty loud on social media about this, so you probably already know but I have to share the exciting first week of February with you. Besides being extremely busy at work with the new semester starting tomorrow, Code First: Girls (CF:G) courses started this week.

I’ve written about CF:G in the past, including when I first took part and when I became one of the course ambassadors. 

My main codin’ buddy

Growing up loving “boyish” things as people would describe it (this has always been silly, why have we got these labels?!), I’ve always felt out of place when I’d talk about what my hobbies, especially my favourite when I was younger: “uh, I like making websites and I want to make a game.”

But when I joined CF:G and took a leading part in organising the courses and now known to some people, “the cfg person” 😂 I’ve never felt more confident talking about my favourite hobby to everyone and anyone. It’s also been great to form a network of incredible people interested in the same things as I am!

In contrast to last semester, this spring term we managed to get to run two courses: Beginners: Introduction to Web Development (HTML/CSS) and Advanced: Introduction to Back-end Development (Python) The turn out for both was awesome, we also managed to generate a lot of interest for the courses totalling up to 152 applications (way better than previously! 🎉)

Python course

The diversity of girls that attend has been amazing this year too – it was awesome bringing all different types of people together and seeing everyone getting on so well, committed to learning something new!

I’m especially excited for the Python course because it’s a completely new course they’ve introduced to the University. We were lucky enough to find some very enthusiastic instructors (that help balance my own enthusiasm!)

At the start of the session to help them get to know one another, we decided to have an icebreaker where everyone introduced themselves (name and what they’re studying) and gave a reason to why they applied in the first place. There were some awesome reasons as to why some applied with some inspiring goals and ideas in mind!

CFG crew

Overall, I had a fantastic time meeting new people, teaching especially in the front-end course (be the back-end to my front-end – this should be on Valentines Day cards, idk about you) and learning new things I didn’t know before in particular back-end stuff.

We currently have some exciting things lined up in addition to the course content itself for CFG including some guest speakers (we’re especially looking for ladies in the industry who are already killing the game!) to help broaden the involvement into the tech industry and hopefully excite and inspire more of them into super awesome tech opportunities! As you can probably tell, I’m hyped! Bring on the next 8 weeks! 👊🏼😎


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


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14 comments

  1. Bhairavee says:

    Awesome, Pauline!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Krystal says:

    I think it’s amazing that you’re getting involved in CFG! One of the young female apprentice developer just started getting involved with them. I wish there was more of this when I was at university. There was only really 2 females on the tech courses and I didn’t met anyone else that was into coding, so I really think it’s so amazing that the new generation females are so active and not scared to do a “boys” job! I’m trying to encourage my younger sister (who’s your age) to get into programming as well.

  3. Kim says:

    This is amazing! I too hate that these labels exist. I’m guilty of keeping them too sometimes, but I try to catch myself with that backwards way of thinking. I love hearing about what others are passionate about. Good luck on the semester! Hope to be playing a game made by you one day. 🙂

  4. Sounds really fun! Kinda wish there were stuff like this out here! Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  5. Rezina says:

    That’s awesome that you had so many people sign up! It’s great to see more people enthused about coding and I agree that the labels are silly. So it’s awesome to see more girls interested in what is (right now) a male dominated workforce.

    The future plans for the courses also sound really interesting – like the guest speakers. I’ve taken a python beginners class before and it was so different than what I was used to, I ended up being intimidated by all the new language speak, haha. I keep telling myself that I want to learn more coding languages, so maybe I’ll give it another try!

    Also – “be the back-end to my front-end” LOL

  6. Michelle says:

    Amazing! Experiences like that are so worthwhile and I can tell it impacted you in a very good way, too.

  7. Cat says:

    I grew up liking “boyish” things too! I was really into video games, and I liked playing sports back then. It’s silly that those are considered “boy” things when girls totally like them too. That’s awesome that you feel so good talking about your favorite hobby now!

    That’s a great turn out! It’s so encouraging to see more women get interested in tech topics. Python seems to be really popular lately, and I see more people using it now. I’ve been interested in learning it because of that. We use Ruby at work, which I’ve been told has many similarities to Python!

    I’m glad it turned out well, and that you had a great time!

  8. Becca says:

    I’ve always liked a lot of “boy” things growing up. I always really liked video games and anything involving computers, so I feel ya when asked what I liked to do in my free time. Computer games and video games seemed so nerdy boy-like, so I was always a bit embarrassed. Even now I am a little bit which is silly! Anybody can have any kind of interests.

    I love reading about your code First meetupsp (if you will) because I so understand what it’s like to be surrounded by a group of people that have the same passion and interests as you. It’s definitelty exhilerating and I love the confidence that it gives you! And that’s so awesome how many applicants you had 152!! Way to go Pauline! 🙂

  9. Sakura says:

    Wow nice! There are some Tech Ladies events in Singapore too but I have yet to go for any of them yet.

  10. Elisa says:

    i remember the first time i told someone that i learned how to html and css by myself and that i loved (loved because now, i’m all about UI design and i no longer touch any programming language) front-end development, i was given a lot of bewildered stares and questions such as, “wow, really!? but you’re a design student! and you’re a girl!” as if girls aren’t supposed to enjoy programming which is so stupid. i don’t understand why everything has to be sorted under gender, pfft. i think it’s really cool that you get to experience this event though; i may not understand the whole python thing because the only codes i’ve ever touched were html and css and nothing else but i still think it’s cool. i always think female developers cool though, pssh.. it’s like yay you guys are breaking the stigma and stereotypes that programmers are “guys thing!”

    pfft, don’t even get me started with the whole video games thing. i grew up loving video games like fps and stuff and people be like, “but you’re a girl!” and i’m like, “so? what, you think the only video games girls should be playing are cutesy mobile dress up games, visual novels and the sims? geez. open your mind.” (not that i have anything against those who enjoy such games though but you know what i mean)

  11. Georgie says:

    You’re killing it Pauline! 🙂 Glad to see you getting involved as a leader in an awesome community that encourages more women to learn to code and possibly work in tech. I don’t know too much back-end, so round of applause from me already haha.

    As you probably know I once famously said (lol) in my web development talk that not once did I find it unusual that I liked computers, until people pointed it out. 🙄 I always associated myself with the boys but I never did that on purpose to be cool or anything. That’s just the way it was. 🙃