Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Learning to Code in SF

San Francisco is filled with developers — but it's also filled with people that want to learn how to be developers. Thankfully, there are many ways for would-be developers to learn from the current developers here, and since I'm getting asked this question more and more these days, I thought I'd share a list of the ways I know. Let me know if I missed anything!

For Everyone

For Women

There are many groups that offer classes solely for women, to provide a more comfortable environment than the usual male-dominated ones (sorry, dudes, but sometimes it sucks to be the only girl in the room).

  • GirlDevelopIt: This is a global organization that offers low-cost web development classes for women, and we're just getting it started here in SF. So far, I've taught an HTML & CSS class for it and am looking forward to the JavaScript class in May.
  • WomenWhoCode: This group was started to bring together women who already code, but just this week, they started holding a weekly frontend web development meetup for women that want to learn more about the various aspects of web development.
  • PyLadies: Dedicated to getting more women in the Python community, the SF chapter of PyLadies is just getting started, and they're kicking off with study groups and hackathons.
  • RailsBridge: Started several years ago with the goal of getting more women in the Ruby community, they organize weekend workshops on Ruby and Rails. Sign up for their mailing list to find out when the next one is happening in SF.
  • HackstarAcademy: An intensive 10-week programming class for women, $6000 but scholarships are available.

For Trans People

There's a growing number of folks that identify as trans in SF, and now there are even coding classes targeted at them - well, one, at least.

  • TranscodeSF: A year of twice-weekly programming classes.

For Kids

Children are our future! And they're also really fun to teach, and can be amazing quick learners. Watch your ego melt away when a kid learns from you and then zooms past. :)

  • CoderDojo: A global organization that puts on free coding workshops for kids, the SF chapter is now hosted at the Twitter office.
  • BlackGirlsCode: Specifically aimed at teaching young women in color how to code, they put on weekend workshops on programming and web development.
  • CodeEd: Specifically targeting girls from underserved communities, it teaches web development skills.
  • WizBots: Using LEGO robotics to encourage kids in math and science.
  • Eureka: A program for teenage girls to get into math and science.

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for learning to code in SF - and I didn't even list the many local community colleges with low-cost classes. If you're a developer and want to teach, many of those groups are looking for volunteers. Good luck!

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