5 Reasons you should learn to code
with Code First: Girls
Just in case you don’t know, Code First: Girls is a not-for-profit organisation that works hard to get more women into tech and entrepreneurship. I’ve been volunteering in helping out with the organisation and delivery of the courses here in Sheffield for the last two years! You can read my other posts about CF:G here.
An intro by Lakshika Awesome (yes, that’s her real name)
This year I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the CF:G. Wonder squad as a Student Ambassador. I shall be partnering up with the wonderful Pauline as her apprentice to help deliver a productive CF:G experience to the onboarding team.
My CF:G history began in February 2017 when I was given a chance to learn Advanced Programming in Python. My CF:G voyage comprised of the extremely proactive student ambassadors Pauline and Sophia, Sensei Tania and Sensei Darren, 30 beautiful wonder women all from diverse principals of study and an enlightening coding experience.
As a result I’ve become a more confident programmer.
And to continue being a part of this coding family, I decided to become the Robin to Pauline’s Batman and continue ameliorating my skills throughout this year.
1) 👩🏻💻 You are exposed to up-to-date programming tools and gain in-demand coding knowledge
Prior to learning Python programming with CF:G, I have had a good enough experience programming with C and C++. The unfortunate part is, I had no idea about tools such as GitHub, Heroku etc.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 4 hours sharpening my axe.” All of us wish to be good programmers but it’s in the way that we use the resources available to us is what seals the deal.
Tania and Darren were instrumental in teaching me good coding practices which I had failed to learn throughout my 2 years of coding experience.
2) 👯 A diverse learning experience
All the women who were learning to code alongside me resulted in being my muses.
The sole reason, their epic minds generated epic ideas resulting in epic end course projects ranging from developing an app that could generate recipes out of the leftover ingredients in your pantry to using the data generated in twitter to list out similar trends.
I ended up making a game but the diversity in the projects influenced me in my future endeavours.
3) 🌠 All our instructors have had a taste of fame
… from the Code First: Girls monthly newsletter. 😆
All the wonderful instructors who have taken the effort to deliver these sessions from their free time and deliver them well have all been nominated as the instructor of the month!
Talk about incredibly talented, dedicated (just like those Git commits) and overall dream team, right?
They’re also fun to work with and funny. Sometimes.
— Pauline P. Narvas (@paulienuh) March 16, 2017
No, Darren, I’m not getting over this.
…also we have some rockin’ alumni:
— Pauline P. Narvas (@paulienuh) May 12, 2017
4) 🍕 We recharge our brains over pizza
You’ll get fed pizza (the best way to recharge!) at our social where you can continue talking about everything you’re learning in the course and get to know the other girls from each course.
Sometimes we have quizzes (questions ranging from coding to movies to Taylor Swift trivia) and you can earn prizes (i.e. mostly the chocolate I need to stay away from)
5) ⚡ You become part of a bigger community
In addition to being part of the wonderful Code First: Girls community, we invite special guests from the hackathon scene and wider women in tech community to talk to you about how valuable the skills you get from the course are, what you can do with it in terms of providing value in future careers and/or events like hackathons.
Some examples of guests we’ve had in the past include:
- Matt Burman, HackSheffield
- Anna Bollinger, Appt
- Tanja Lichtensteiger, Leeds Beckett University
- Kisha Bradley, Bright Box Maker
— Tanja Lichtensteiger (@grappleshark) March 9, 2017
— HackSheffield (@HackSheffield) February 18, 2017
We even took some to their first hackathon with MedTech Sheffield!
— Pauline P. Narvas (@paulienuh) April 30, 2017
Sound awesome? Join in!
Coding is such a valuable skill to have especially in this highly evolving society – get involved and sharpen up your skills but also connect with the amazing people in this community!
Code First: Girls at The University of Sheffield is back again running for the third year in a row! Applications are now open:
We hope to see you there! Don’t forget to share your excitement with us at #shefcodefirst.
— Kimberly Koay (@KimberlyKoay) March 2, 2017
Not in Sheffield? Don’t worry!
CF:G also runs across the UK – have a look to see if your University is listed here.
If you can’t attend these courses, you can always teach yourself. There’s plenty of resources online where you can get started…
- General Assembly
- Lynda (Some Universities have the full licence of this – make use of it!)
- You Don’t Know JS
Check out a full list of resources here.