Nowadays, we live in a world where a young woman learning programming is no longer a novelty. For women such as these and many others, a program called Learn IT, Girl! was created, with the sole purpose of teaching programming to young women by pairing them with mentors over a 10 weeks period (Nov 2014 – Feb 2015).
Learn IT, Girl! was founded by a group of young women who were rewarded with the Google Anita Borg Scholarship in 2014. The first run of the program was an astonishing success, having received 138 mentors applications and 212 scholars applications, without any kind of paid promotion. It just goes to show that projects that bring real value to people don’t need marketing budgets.
For me, the transition from “let’s write an onclick method” to using platforms like NodeJS or Meteor happened naturally over a period of a few years, giving me the time to learn and adapt. Even so, there are so many frameworks and platforms out there, countless libraries and utilities, that it has become quite an impossible task to master them all. You have to know where to look and what to look for and I’m sure it’s the same if you want to learn Java, C++ or Python.
The only sorrowful thought I have about the program is that some girls did drop out. It saddens me to see they have wasted a wonderful opportunity, which will not be there for them next year. I see many similarities between this program and a business accelerator – as it becomes known and its value grows, it will receive a lot more applications and it will be a lot more difficult to get in. For sure, I’ll apply to be a mentor next year as well!