No CS degree? No problem. A Code Fellows insider offers scrappy suggestions on how women interested in getting into tech can teach themselves to code. By Maris McEdward (Marketing Manager, Code Fellows)
Much ink has been spilled discussing the need for more women in technical roles. Studies by groups like Catalyst and McKinsey have shown that companies with strong representation by women at all levels - and in all departments - perform better than those where women are a tiny minority.
And while it feels good to have mainstream conversations acknowledge what smart and ambitious women have known all along, we also know that recognition is only the first step in creating a solution.
So how do we get more women into jobs where they will thrive and where they’ll make outsized impacts? How do we get more women in tech?
One solution I see is for women interested in becoming developers, engineers, and coders to take a page from their sisters in startups. Female entrepreneurs have been playing by their own rules for awhile now and thriving because they ask, because they take, and because they don’t wait for permission. If you’re a woman interested in learning a coding language, learn it! Who cares if you didn’t take one CS class in college? What does it matter if you are work in marketing or sales or are an at-home mom? If you want to learn a technical skill there are plenty of resources out there where you can work at your own pace. The following sites are great places to get started:
- Basic Web Pages: http://teamtreehouse.com/library/websites/build-a-simple-website
- HTML5 and CSS3: http://www.codeschool.com/paths/html-css
- More HTML/CSS: http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/web
- Git & GitHub: http://try.github.io
- Ruby & Rails: http://www.codeschool.com/paths/ruby
- Build a complete Rails app: http://ruby.railstutorial.org/
Self-led learning is a relatively frictionless and low-risk way to learn basic coding. After you’ve mastered the basics there are numerous bootcamps and programs that can help polish your skills and prepare you for a technical job.
Once you have an understanding of coding and a portfolio to show people, you’ll have the experience and the confidence to ask for more help, which will grow your expertise and your network...and lead you to the technical job you were born to do!
Code Fellows, where I work, is one such bootcamp. It's an intense six-week coding camp based in Seattle, WA that guarantees students will find a $60,000 job upon graduation. Code Fellows is now accepting applications for their women-only bootcamp. This Ruby on Rails program begins July 8, 2013 and features Code Fellows’ exceptional instructors, small class sizes and in-depth mentoring. Learn more; apply now!
Women 2.0 readers: Did you teach yourself to code? What resources did you use?
About the guest blogger: Maris McEdward is the marketing manager for Code Fellows, an organization that offers coding bootcamps in Seattle and guarantees graduates a $60K job offer within six months of completing the program; and the program manager of the Microsoft Accelerator, powered by TechStars, a three-month, intensive program for startups developing in the cloud. In addition to working with early-stage startups, Maris also involved with several Seattle-based organizations that promote women in tech. Photo credit: hackNY.org via Flickr.