I never really liked pink. Or girly things. Girly talk. Women-only events. But now I’m more than convinced that we have to shed light on female leaders. We need to see them in order to believe that we can also do it. See to believe, right?
Discovering empowered women through coding
When I decided that I wanted to learn how to code, Ruby seemed to be the most doable option for someone like me. With no tech background AT ALL.
The most efficient and quickest way to learn without having to spend ages turned out to be a bootcamp. So I joined one which promised on their web that you’d become a coder in 8-12 weeks. It would be hard, but doable. I replied to an email of this coding academy – I’d rather keep the name for myself -, which asked about my timing plans for the course.
- Me (fully motivated): “I’m finishing module 1 in four weeks, and then I’ll jump to modules 2 & 3 right after that”.
- Them (harshly): “Well, try if you want, but it’s going to be very difficult. You may want to slow down”.
Wait, whaaaaaaat?? Was it because I’m a woman? Was my email too naive? Or were they so harsh to every beginner?? Great way to start… Anyway, determined as I am (aka pigheaded) when I set my mind to something, I started learning by myself. It went quite well at the beginning, but the explanations were VERY confusing and, as you can imagine, their “support” was not being very helpful.
I then saw that there was a new meetup called “Rails Girls” in my hometown. Awesome. I went there as if I knew something 😀 It was fun meeting other girls who wanted to learn Ruby & Rails, but the group ended up disappearing ’cause there were no beginner women anymore. Anyway, a girl I knew at the meetup mentioned she was going to try out a free 10-day course at SkillCrush, a coding teaching company for women.
My first impression? Their emails were too pink for me. As I mentioned before, I had never liked this women-only thing – as if we were not as intelligent as men and needed extra help. I gave this free 10-day course a try though. I didn’t have anything to lose, and my ultimate goal was to try to complete the online bootcamp I signed up at the beginning. Every single day, I received an email from SkillCrush motivating me to keep on learning and making me think I could totally do it. Nice!! When the 10 days went by, I decided to enroll their Ruby for Rails blueprint. The price was fair enough (three monthly payments of $199 each), and I was again fully motivated.
My second impression? OMG!!! After the couple of lessons I needed to adapt to this girly environment, I was amazed at how easy coding could be when explained the proper way!
Why female coding organizations empower women
♥ The percentage of women in STEM is significantly lower than men’s. And we all know how important it is for the work evolution the role tech is increasingly adopting. Now, combine that with us women not daring to join a mainly male-ruled industry. Where does it leave us? Beginning with girls not showing any interest in tech ’cause “there are only boys in the classroom.”
♥ Having other women supporting and motivating you is a whole new level of learning comfort.
They share many of your daily struggles. They totally get you. And, above all, they motivate and encourage you to go on.
♥ SkillCrush lessons are always fun. You actually laugh with their videos. They show you smart, funny women who can code and who are willing to teach you.
A good explanation from scratch doesn’t mean you’re learning less. It’s just well-explained. And kindly explained on top of that!
You know those mathematics teachers who know a lot about maths, but you actually think they’re speaking in Chinese? Like you get no clue at all what they’re talking about?? It doesn’t have to be like that.
♥ When you discover how female leaders show flexibility and understanding, you realize they were just like you before becoming leaders. They also have kids and family members to take care of.
No more hiding – Let’s show ourselves
I mentioned kids because I was used to not talking at all about my private life with clients. Especially about kids. I didn’t want my family lifestyle to interfere with my business. My male colleagues had no problem with that though – Showing off what a good dad you are is cool. But, as a freelance woman, having kids means that they can interfere in your project timelines. I guess I mixed up professionality with impersonality. However, there were obvious disadvantages to women in my environment who would talk about their kids. And I didn’t want that.
When I gave birth to my baby girl, my customers knew I wouldn’t be available for a couple of weeks because I was working on a “bigger project” in-house at another customer’s office. They couldn’t imagine how big the project was and that the office was actually the birth clinic 😀
Anyway, it wasn’t until I visited SkillCrush homepage for the first time and saw that image of a woman working with her baby on her arms that it struck me. I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone! I didn’t have to hide! Why had I been hiding?? The coding community in general, but at SkillCrush in particular, is so generous you have to join them to believe it.
You’re not alone. We just need to shed some light on successful women. Women like you. Who will also do it. Let’s motivate each other and find our new role models!!
PS. Check out this short BBC video about Adda Birnir, CEO and founder of SkillCrush, about women in the tech industry. Enjoy!
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