Sunday, August 29, 2010

Girl Develop It: Teaching Web Programming to Women

A few months ago, Sara Chipps and I ended up on the same list of "Hacker Women on Twitter", and I followed the link from her bio to the Girl Develop it (GDI) project. The mission of GDI is to lessen the gender gap on the web by getting more women to develop software, and they're going about that by offering low-cost web programming courses to women in their local area (New York City). Some of those women might become web developers themselves, but even if most of them don't, they will hopefully inspire the women around them (like daughters and friends) to think about going down that road. Of all the various attempts to get more girls in computing, this one is my favorite. It may take time -- it may even take generations -- but it's worth a shot.

So, I'm bringing GDI to Sydney, and kickstarting it with an introductory series on HTML & CSS, which will take place in 5 classes over 3 weeks at our local Google office. The series will be run like an actual course, in that students are expected to attend every class, to do homework, and to do a small final project (a personal website).

I'm currently in the midst of creating the curriculum, using my HTML5-based slides making application, and am hoping to make it fun, practical, and re-usable. :)

Here's where you come in:

  • If you're a local female looking to learn those topics, then you can read more and register from the GDI Sydney page.
  • If you're a local female that's keen to help others learn these topics, then we'd love to have you as a teaching assistant for the course. Just send me an email or wave (
  • If you're just curious to see how it goes, then subscribe to the main GDI blog.

Thanks so much to Sara for supporting the Sydney version of GDI. I'm excited to see how this goes and to meet the first class of students!

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