Girls Who Code Baltimore

I’m so impressed with Girls Who Code Baltimore! I had a really good time hanging out this last Saturday, seeing what everyone is up to and talking about my path into coding.

Jen Jones, one of the leaders of Girls Who Code Baltimore hosted by The Neighborhood Cyber Center at the historic Union Baptist Church, invited me to come talk about my experience. Each week elementary and middle schoolers learn about a different legendary woman in programming, do some warm up exercises, and sit down to work on full adult courses on Codecademy—HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SQL.

I can’t tell you how impressive it was to see these girls read through the complex descriptions and create running code on the spot. I was able to share with them my own local story about getting into development, never having had any exposure to it in school, not even so much as typing instruction, until I decided to go back to school to study web development at the age of 30. Demystifying the realities of working in the field is so important, it’s something that’s still important for me now to know that I’m on track as I grow in my development experience even as I continue to face challenges.

Towards the end, I invited them to see the mobile app I’ve been doing development on, my code and the many browser tabs I had open to look things up. One of the best parts was being able to point out the places in my code where I used the same things they had been learning that day; I got to show them that the languages and strategies they’re learning every Saturday are things I use in my job every day.

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