Girl Power in the Programming World

Though their numbers are expanding, women are still the minority in the computer development and website coding community, which remains about 90 percent male. A group of women in the Triangle, Girl Develop It (GDI), formed to provide a comfortable environment where women can learn about coding, website development and new technology and strategies at their own pace. As an institution that believes in diversifying STEM career fields and fully supports broadening the coding community, RENCI recently opened its doors to GDI to provide a space to host its “Python for Beginners” course.

The course, held at RENCI’s Europa Center headquarters on Saturday, April 26, consisted of an all-day workshop on Python, a software program that powers some of the most popular websites and apps, including Pinterest and Instagram. It can be used to build websites, program robots, visualize data and run servers.

The workshop was offered to women and girls with very limited or no programming experience and allowed them to explore functions, built-in data types such as lists and dictionaries, and utilize Python to tackle real problems. The course began with basic concepts such as “what is programming?,” variables and arithmetic, and statements and error messages. By the end of the class, the women were able to create a simple interactive game using Python software.

The class was taught by Caleb Smith, a Python expert at the Carrboro-based website development group Caktus Group Consulting, LLC.

Check out the GDI group or sign up for an event or class here.