Rails Girls: Getting Women Excited About Tech

Girls Get Coding at Tanzania’s 1st Rails Girls Meetup During International Co-Innovation Week

The fastest way to change a society is through the web. Whether it’s Google redefining information sharing or Facebook changing the way we communicate with one another, the Internet is at the heart of much of the progress in our societies. At the same time, majority of girls are lacking the ability to speak the fundamental language of our age: code.

At Rails Girls, we believe that young women have the energy, skills and enthusiasm to set off a creative explosion that is unmatched elsewhere in the technology industry – bringing along web services that are more relevant and appropriate for the intended users and a whole new kind of a software culture.

Rails Girls Meet at KINU

As a part of the Co-Innovation Week, KINU organized a web fundamentals workshop for young women. During the afternoon session, we had a dozen enthusiastic young women spending the day at KINU building their first HTML page in a workshop organized by Rails Girls.

Rails Girls workshop at KINU - Click to see all photos!

Rails Girls workshop at KINU – Click to see all photos!

Rails Girls is a global community that gives young women a fun and approachable first experience in software development. We started off in 2010 and in a few years, have seen the community spread to over 80 cities around the world.

We believe in connecting non-technical, but passionate women with the local web development community. The events are made possible with the help of local IT firms and organizations. During the Rails Girls workshops, all participating girls code and deploy a simple web app with the help of local engineers who volunteer to coach at the workshop.

Furthermore, the participants listen to presentations varying from designing a software app to understanding the social culture around software development; they meet the local techie scene and find mentors to help them further. In sum, the workshop aims to set the girls to a path from users to makers, from online consumers to web creators.

One of the key messages we wish to tell in Rails Girls is that coding is not only creative and empowering, it’s about people and belonging to a community. We want to tell Rails Girls participants how the world of software development is inhabited by a warm, open and helpful community that reaches across borders.

Code is essentially a tool for self-expression, with the power to be world changing. We hope to see LOTS of gender diversity in this arena in Tanzania.

Learn more about Rails Girls
Workshop slides from Co-Innovation Week event

If you want to continue running Rails Girls events in Dar es Salaam (or elsewhere Tanzania), please contact our (team@railsgirls.com) to get started with workshop guides and materials.

Where to get started and learn more? Check out these (mostly) free services and tutorials to learn programming:

Skillcrush
http://skillcrush.com
Codecademy
http://www.codecademy.com
Code School
http://www.codeschool.com

– Charlotta Liukas / Rails Girls Helsinki

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