CoderDojo Toronto

CoderDojo is a global movement about providing free and open learning to youth, with an emphasis on computer programming. The Toronto chapter was founded to bring this movement to the GTA, inspire other chapters, and partner with other organizations to better introduce kids to coding.

coder-dojo

A previous post on this blog (The “Make-It-Fun Community Web-Dev Thinkubator”) outlines my goals for giving back to the code community. After doing some research I found CoderDojo, and through them a link to the year old and abandoned Twitter account @coderdojoto. After contacting my soon to be co-founder, we assembled a small team, and like it was no big deal we had our first session 6 months later.

As of 2014 we have secured a venue sponsorship with Bitmaker Labs, and a title sponsorship with FinanceIt, allowing us to focus on providing great coding programs to kids of all backgrounds and abilities. As one of 2 directors, this labour of love has proven to be a great experience for so many reasons.

 

Ladies Learning Code mentorship

I recently participated in an intensive JavaScript mentorship program with the super excellent and so well done Toronto organization Ladies Learning Code. My role was a simple one, be available for a 9-5 work shop attended by women who are learning JavaScript from the ground up. Two lead instructors, Pearl Chen and Christina Truong, put together a presentation that would rival any first year university level JavaScript course. The mentors, 1 per 4 students, helped roughly 60 attendees get through the heavy concepts and actually produce working code.

Being a female (or, close enough) in the web industry has always left me a little isolated feeling. Not only do I not get invited to play foozball with the boys, I also lack a large peer network in this field. Not one of my female friends is a programmer. The opportunity to meet and network with women in this field is extremely valuable to me. The concept of the group is also one of great importance. Women offer so many different facets to development; process, details, organization, logic. Yet enrollment of women in tech fields is actually declining! Declining since when? I can’t tell you that stat, there never really was a pinnacle of women in tech.

I hope to find my skills useful in more than just the JavaScript program because lending my energy to this group is more than good for me, and hopefully very good for others.

If you are a lady, or man actually (they don’t actually discriminate on gender), and want to start a new awesome web skill you might find this a great launch pad: http://ladieslearningcode.com/