girls who code

9

Watch The Founder of Girls Who Code Perfectly School Trevor Noah On Why Culture Makes Or Breaks Women In Tech

On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah guest Reshma Saujani, an Indian-American lawyer and politician, discussed the initiative to encourage young women and girls to pursue studies and careers the booming tech field, where they are falling behind. But there are two moments in a girl’s life where we can reverse the trend.

Gifs: The Daily Show/cc.com

ted.com
Teach girls bravery, not perfection
We're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program -- two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. "I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection."
By Reshma Saujani

I need everyone to stop whatever they’re doing and spend 12 minutes watching this video.  There’s subtitles and a transcript too.

I was the little girl who climbed to the top of tall trees and touched the snakes brought into class.  But sometime between 9 and 11, despite how very precocious I was, I stopped taking risks.  In sixth grade I was placed in the accelerated math class, and I panicked when I found this out on the first day of school that year and begged to be switched to the regular class.  I quit learning to play the flute after only half a semester because I was not immediately good at it, even though I certainly have musical talent.  Same with art classes.  High school and college were a little different, since I did take some more intimidating classes to get back on a STEM track.  But this talk shows me how my conditioning continues to hold me back.  I don’t ask speakers questions, even though a male audience member asked the same one I had.  I fold when I don’t get something right the first time.  Even though I know it’s ridiculous, I have convinced myself that my abilities are fixed and reflected in my first try, and anything I think or say must be wrong.  All semester I’ve been asking, “What’s wrong with ME?” instead of “what’s wrong with the way I’m studying?”

It’s funny how many things like this I’ve experienced that are largely exclusive to women.  I never thought it had anything to do with my gender; in fact, I’ve largely felt isolated from my gender.  I’ve never felt direct discrimination.  It’s this pervasive sexism in our society that makes the youngest girls internalize misogyny and feelings of inadequacy. 

Little girls need early intervention to become confident women - but first, we need to recognize the problem and work on it from our (the adult) end.

Are you ready? 

You’re ready.

Alright, so, here’s the surprise I told you about earlier:

NOW you can have this little neat thing called InteractiveFics - a Chrome extension (like a mini-app for your browser) developed by yours truly. 

What does it do? Simple, like the box you see before my fics, this replaces (all variations of) “Y/N” everywhere for you, right from your browser, without needing anything from the writer’s side. That includes the tumblr dashboard, AO3, FF.net, all blogs and pretty much most websites out there (except  INCLUDING Wattpad. Wattpad is evil. And by evil I mean it uses a different interface that I’m yet to include support for).

It’s free, it’s fast, it’s convenient and you can download it now from here.

You can also grab a badge for your blog here.

More info on how it works.

Happy reading! (Oh and if you have any comments/bug reports, please do send them my way!)

My Top 5 Coding Resources

This website would not be alive if I was not able to look up instructions for html, css and even javascript to make the pages and layout look the way it does. Although let it be known now and forever that me and javascript have a really tough relationship. It’s true- I’ve been angrily doing javascript tutorials and failing since I got a D in Java Programming my sophomore year of college.

Javascript fueled anger aside, one thing I love about using tumblr is that I can access the code of my blog anytime I like and edit what I need to edit. Themes designed by people way more skilled than I am are great, but sometimes there are things in the themes that aren’t exactly right. That’s where these websites come in. These are my go to resources to figuring out how to make it right (if I don’t just type the question directly into google, which works as well)

1. W3 Schools

I don’t know how long W3Schools has existed but I swear it’s always been there. From my early days on the internet trying to figure out how to change the color of what I’m writing on a Harry Potter forum discussion, to a couple weeks ago figuring out how to make those cute rounded boxes that I see all over the internet on my about me page- W3 has been there. If you type into google:

How do I write HTML for…

they are usually one of the first results. They have extensive tutorials on HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Javascript and even some stuff on the server side like PHP and SQL but I find myself almost exclusively up in their HTML section or making sure the CSS thing I’m trying to do is actually a real thing. 

Annnnd- they also offer certificates, i’ve never done it, but it sounds cool. 

2. Bootply/Bootsnip

Bootstrap is super cool and it helps you make super cool looking websites, don’t get me wrong. It’s snazzy and as soon as you learn about it you wanna start using it like right now- but it’s kind of daunting. 

Luckily, we have the Bootply and Bootsnip. Bootply has a text editor that comes with useful templates for making bootstrap-tastic navigation and tons of other cool stuff, also coming with just templates for your basic bootstrap website

Look at that majesty. It’s just fabulous and easy. They also have a drag and drop visual website maker, but honestly I find drag and drop code makers more trouble than their worth. 

Bootsnip rather than all out templates, is a community of people that post cool stuff that they made in bootstrap in different categories. 

Like you can look at every navigation menu anyone has ever had (as you can see I’m a little fixated on navigation- tbh I’m still not happy with the state of this blog’s menu)

Look at that. I love these sites. Even if I can’t make everything in these exactly happen, looking at the code that makes the things that these people made happen can help me look at the code that works for me. 

3. GitHub

Speaking of getting help from other people, Github is the hub. It’s the place where everyone posts their code and looks at it and helps eachother with it. The idea really is amazing. With it I can do searches and look at tools people made. And fun fact for us non-programmers: a lot of people post tumblr themes on here. Even more, a lot of people post boilerplate themes to help other people develop from because that’s what they use and I find it incredibly useful. 

4. Code Academy

As you can tell, I flit on and off of the site. Sometimes it’s useful and sometimes it isn’t. 

Maybe Code Academy isn’t perfect, but it’s a site I end up going to again and again. You could look up all the code in the world but if you don’t understand it, it’s gonna be super hard for you to make it work. I would say that the guided lessons don’t necessarily help me memorize or know languages by heart- you know no way, it doesn’t, but it helps you get familiar and there are classes for everything on there. I’d say if you even want to exist on Tumblr and want to really impact the way your blog looks- go on Code Academy. You can search through all the themes in the world and you’re never going to find the one that fits you completely. It could just be little things. But just do it. You can make the blog you want with your head held high. I’d say with Code Academy and any of these other sites, it’s not being fluent in the language. That’s only going to come with practice. But if you take the lessons, you’ll have a roadmap. 

5. Free Code Camp

Free Code Camp is one of the coolest things I’ve ever found. I don’t even remember how I found it, I think it was promoted on twitter or something. But it’s a comprehensive program that takes you through each of the languages and eventually pairs you with a nonprofit to help them with their website and to help you build a portfolio. Their goal is to get people on their site jobs when they finish. Not to mention, they’re registered as a school on LinkedIn, so you can add it to ‘Education’ on your profile. I do it when I can and I’ve fallen off the boat recently but I really think it’s a great resource. The lessons are great and when I’m on there it really feels like something clicks. 

And there are tons more resources out there

I’ve watched so many videos and gone on so many websites and there are communities everywhere so that if this is something you want to learn, it really is an option. These 5 are just the tipping point and I hope you use them.

refinery29.com
Girls Who Code Make The World Better One App At A Time
At a time when parts of the tech industry are hostile work environments for women—this according to statistics revealing a rampant sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation problem — a career in the sciences might not appeal to many young girls. Reshma Saujani has made it her

Reshma Saujani on TDS

youtube

Verizon Commercial 2014

“Our words can have a huge impact. Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant, too? Encourage her love of science and technology and inspire her to change the world.”

– Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code