Participants Respond to Saturday’s Event: BlackGirlsCODE

The aforementioned BlackGirlsCODE event has now come to pass, but before its closure, participants had a few things to say not only about their involvement in the event itself, but also in BlackGirlsCODE as a movement.

Some of the more important members of the community are the parents; these parents have urged their daughters to open up to the world of computing, especially when the girls are naturally inclined to do so. Monica Jeffery and her daughter Shameya attended the event together. Monica expressed that she “[wants Shameya] to get more in-depth and  learn how to problem solve. [She wants] her to learn how to code and wants something more technical.”  Other parents voiced similar wishes, but also said they appreciate that these workshop opportunities are available to a range of age groups. Meibell Contreras brought her 10 year old daughter Maya (both pictured below), believing that her age is prime for learning how to code.

Along with the parents, volunteers and instructors are crucial to the workshops and the BlackGirlsCODE community. Errol King, game designer, actor, business owner, and instructor at the event made a statement about why the BlackGirlsCODE movement is so important: 

 “You have something really beautiful to offer the tech space that is missing. When there is a critical mass of black females created in the tech space, I think there will be something that will come out of that that we won’t even expect and that’s why we are here–to create that catalyst.”

Volunteers also expressed their excitement about the workshops. Harlo Holmes and Michael Hackney agree how fantastic it can be to see girls of a young age grasp these programming concepts so quickly and so thoroughly and continue to remain enthusiastic about it. Holmes called it ‘heartwarming.’

The girls themselves had a lot of comments after Saturday’s workshop. Most agreed that they liked having a class with all girls, and that learning about programming in Beta was a great introduction–one that sparked an interest in pursuing further education in engineering and programming. 


The Women Have Taken Over Seidenberg HQ!

The three-day event, Write/Speak/Code has filled Seidenberg’s HQ with women eager to learn more and improve their skills in writing, speaking, and coding. Each day of the event focuses on one of the topics and after the three days, the participants should have a deepened understanding as well as an augmented skill and comfort level in each category.

Participants work together on projects during the Write/Speak/Code event.

The speakers for the event range from software engineers to presentation experts, data-analysts to user-experience strategists, and philanthropists to freelance developers. Each speaker has offered expert advice especially curated for this audience. The attendees focused on writing on the first day, Thursday, June 20th. Speakers introduced tactics used for writing Op-Ed pieces and forming an audible voice through text.
For Friday’s session on ‘Speak,’ I sat in for a bit, and within 10 minutes I learned some basic techniques that improve public speaking. An organizer of the event as well as a Ruby and Javascript developer, Rebecca Miller- Webster spoke of the importance of hand gestures when speaking to an audience. She demonstrated how holding your words in your hands is effective in getting the message to listeners. If one is speaking on a small topic, hands should carry an imaginary tennis-ball sized object, but if the topic has more weight and importance, the speaker should increase their gestures to the likes of holding a basketball in their hands (as demonstrated by the drawing below). Miller-Webster pointed out that famous speakers, namely President Obama, often execute this exact practice.

The size of your hand gestures should reflect the importance of your topic.

On day three, the women learned important coding techniques that they could then apply to their own projects.

Participants actively engaged with the speakers and one another to increase productivity, efficiency, and creativity not only in their personal initiatives but also within the feminist movement. To have a large group of women supporting each other in their path through the conceivably male-dominated world of computing is hugely effective and it is clear that the event has been a success in that area.

For more of the live feed on twitter, take a look at @writespeakcode

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