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TechLadies 2016 – Year in Review

How was your 2016? I hope it was as great as ours! It’s still a little hard to believe that TechLadies was only launched in 2016, I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Despite being less than 1 year old, we’ve touched 629 people with our events, workshops & bootcamps; taught 111 ladies how to code; and saw 3 of these ladies getting internships and 2 more ladies hired as junior software engineers.

Thank you for an awesome 2016 and for being part of TechLadies! 🎉

Let’s take a quick look at what we did in 2016.

January

27 Jan – TechLadies was born!

TechLadies had our launch party at Facebook Singapore where the community get to know who we are, learn about the TechLadies Bootcamp was about, and hear from a panel of industry experts on what it’s like to be a women in tech. Thank you to our global panel of speakers Michelle, Ludwine, Hui Jing and Aislinn who graciously contributed their time!

I was initially worried if we could fill up the venue (which our coach Hui Jing assured me that if nobody showed up, we’ll have our own private party) but we filled it up with a bunch of amazing passionate women! I am AWED.

29 Jan – Our launch was covered by e27!

The launch event was covered by e27, one of the best tech site in Asia. I particularly like this quote I gave, and it still rings true today.

TechLadies was started when so many people volunteered to help. It’s easy to give me all the credits because I’m the face of TechLadies, but really, it was the people who helped that inspired me to start TechLadies.

And as the writer Kevin McSpadden puts it, “time to put on those coding capes.

February

20 Feb – We had the first TechLadies Bootcamp!

9 ladies were chosen out of 129 applicants to participate in the first TechLadies Bootcamp. Back then, we called the program TechLadies Coding Programme but changed the name because it was too long and we often confused ourselves if we were using the British or American spelling for “programme”.

These ladies worked in groups of 3, spent at least 15 hours a week to create web applications for 3 non-profit organizations – Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, Asian Film Archive and Engineers.SG.

Read about their stories here:  SharonVinaXin TianKateYitingCasieSandyErika, and Cornet.

May

5 May – We held the first TechLadies Graduation Party!

The newly minted tech ladies have graduated from the TechLadies Bootcamp and presented their applications to 180 attendees at Google Singapore. 2 of these graduates will eventually get into programming internships, and 2 more were hired as software engineers. Proud of all of them! You can watch the video recording of the event here. 

18 May – We kicked off the TechLadies Tech Talks series!

The TechLadies Bootcamp grads had the idea of creating a platform for beginners to share their technical knowledge. Running with that idea, TechLadies Tech Talks was born! In these talks, you will learn about various programming languages from ladies who are picking up the skill. We held the first of this series in May, featuring the Ruby programming language. You can watch the video recording of the event here. 

29 May – TechLadies was featured in The Sunday Times!


Kate (our bootcamp grad), Jaryl (her coach) and I were featured on The Sunday Times as part of their feature on tech education in Singapore. You can read the article at this link.

June

24 June – Xin Tian spoke at the Red Dot Ruby Conference!


Our bootcamp grad, Xin Tian, gave a lightning talk at the Ruby conference in Singapore, sharing the lessons she learned from learning how to code in Ruby. In the audience is Matz, the creator of the Ruby programming language! You can watch her talk here. 

August

2 Aug – TechLadies Bootcamp returned!


The bootcamp was back, and this time BIGGER! We have expanded our intake from 9 to 15, and helping 5 NGOs use technology for good. We held an info session where the NGOs presented the challenges they were facing, the coaches gave a quick introduction on what solutions the bootcamp participants would be building, and we heard from Audrey, Nithya, and Olivia exploring the possible careers paths in the tech industry. You can watch the video recording of the event here. 

Also, this is our biggest event so far!

6, 13, 20 Aug – We ran 3 pre-bootcamp workshops!


We learned that it is important for TechLadies Bootcamp participants to have some sort of programming foundation in order to build a web product that will be used by the NGOs. So we ran 3 workshops to teach women basic programming skills! 93 women attended these workshops, and 5 of them were chosen to participate in the TechLadies Bootcamp #2. You can watch the video recording of all 3 workshops here. 

11 Aug – We had the 2nd installment of the TechLadies Tech Talks on Python!

We shared about Python this time round. Do watch the talks by Vina and Junqi! 🐍

Sep

24 Sep – TechLadies Bootcamp #2 was ON!


15 ladies were selected for the TechLadies Bootcamp #2, out of 41 applicants. Why the drop in the number of applicants, you ask? Good question. That’s because we’ve upped the application requirements – each lady needs to create an application before they can apply for the bootcamp… to learn how to build an application. We are all amazed by the quality of applications these applicants created without much guidance!

28 Sep – We were mentioned in Tech in Asia!

Tech in Asia published an article on people making a mid-career switch into the tech industry and TechLadies was mentioned! Read the article here.

Oct

1 Oct – We were featured on Her World!

Singapore’s best-selling women’s magazine, Her World, ran a feature on TechLadies. Psst! That’s Ruby codes in there.

Dec

3 Dec – We concluded the TechLadies Bootcamp #2!


Sadly, a bootcamp participant decided to drop out of the program midway due to personal reasons (we wish her all the best!) and we couldn’t onboard someone new by then. 😔

Nonetheless, 14 ladies graduated from the TechLadies Bootcamp #2 and created applications for Mutts Rescue, I Am Talented, TOUCH Young Arrows, Highpoint Community Services Association, and Singapore Muslim Women’s Association. They will be showing you the apps they have made in Jan 2017!

It takes a village to raise a TechLady

Everything that we have achieved with TechLadies in 2016 is no doubt a community effort with people stepping up to volunteer their time, expertise, skills, and money. I’m grateful to each and every one of you who have helped us along the way. 😘

Thank you Xin Tian, Kate, Joelle, Cherie, Nikki, Amanda, Estella, Michelle, and Xinhua for volunteering your time in the less than glamorous job to make sure that the blog, Facebook page and our events happen.

Thank you Martin, Jaryl, Michael (for stepping up to be a coach at the last min), Sherwin, Ted, Laurence, Grzegorz, Gabe for spending 100 hours to bring more women into the tech industry.

Thank you Varun, Monika, Kiong, Jesstern, Sunny, Jen, Junqi, Guo Xiang, Ken, Martin, Aysha, Justin, Sher Minn, Sean for taking time out on Saturdays for the pre-bootcamp workshops.

Thank you Chee Aun, Gia and Wei Man for your UX/UI skills, and Engineers.SG for recording so much of our events. By documenting our events, you helped us maximize our impact.

And thank you sponsors The Artling, PayPal, Facebook, Google, IMDA Labs, Tinkerbox & Bitmazk for keeping TechLadies going!

Future Plans 💯

Woo! That was a long review article, wasn’t it?

For 2017, we’re going to do more for women around Asia. Yes! We are going overseas!!! ✈️✈️✈️✈️

Here’s what we have in store:

  • 17 Jan: TechLadies Bootcamp #2 – Graduation Party!
  • Feb onwards: TechLadies Study Groups
  • 18 – 19 Feb: TechLadies Coding Weekend in Kuala Lumpur
  • Apr – Aug: Pre-Bootcamp Workshops & TechLadies Bootcamp #3

We are also thinking of running TechLadies Coding Weekends in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Pakistan. Want TechLadies in your city? Email Elisha at elisha@techladies.co to get started!

Have a great 2017!

 

Stay curious,
Elisha & team

Meet JiaMin – Mathematician, Data Analyst, TechLady

The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 12-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 6 ladies were chosen for the TechLadies Bootcamp #3. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about their backgrounds and learning journeys. Hopefully that'll inspire you to start learning how to code!

If you could tell a story about yourself in one or a few sentences, what would it be?

Born and raised in Brunei, I moved to Singapore to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences at Nanyang Technological University where I discovered an unexpected love for coding. Upon graduation, I went on to complete a Masters of Science in Financial Mathematics at the University of Chicago. My passion for Mathematics stems from my enjoyment in tackling challenging problems.

My hobbies include yoga, baking and hiking.

What are you currently working as?

I am currently working as a Data Analyst at Bloomberg where I apply technology solutions to provide data to the financial markets in an accurate and timely manner. Previously I was working in a business development role at a construction company in Brunei.

What sparked your interest in learning how to code?

I love coding because it is really fun to break a complex problem into smaller pieces: solving them individually and compiling them together. There is something relaxing about isolating problems into little categories and solving them one at a time, and I experience that a lot when coding. Coding is fundamentally about creating solutions to problems. The best part about coding is that you can make things that are useful to other people and improve their lives in some way.

It wasn’t easy for me to come to love programming. Growing up in a traditional family, I would not receive any gadget or technology-related presents unlike my brothers as my parents believed that such toys were only for boys. So I never thought to explore or pick up any IT skills when I was younger. My first real exposure to programming happened when I was in college – where I had to take a class on C++ as part of my Math degree. That class blew my mind. It opened my eyes to programming and made me realized how much I enjoy creating applications and interacting with computers. I am very happy to be a part of TechLadies as I truly enjoy expanding my technical skills in a tight-knit community.

Despite the abundance of resources out there, it was difficult to figure out how to solve problems when one has to figure out how to fit all the pieces together to get the code to look and behave the way you expect it to.

What was your first thought or reaction when you heard about TechLadies?

When I first heard about TechLadies after seeing their ads on Facebook, the first thought that came to my mind was how great the community-led initiative was in terms of introducing more women to the tech industry and encouraging them to have a career as programmers!

Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Bootcamp?

I applied to TechLadies Bootcamp because although my work involves some programming, I don’t have any experience building a web application. Building a web application has always been one of my life goals because I am fascinated by the works of a web application. With Facebook, Google and the likes, applications play a big part in our everyday online life.

You had to create an app before you could apply to the bootcamp. Tell us more about the app you made!

For my application to the TechLadies Bootcamp, I created an events listing app (see my codes here). The choice was simple, I simply picked an idea out of the 4 ideas listed on the TechLadies website and ran with it. Attending all of the pre-bootcamp workshops definitely helped me with creating an application. I have also supplemented my learning journey by reading a bunch of online resources. I would definitely recommend RailsGirls guides and reading the documentation of the appropriate gems for the application.

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on and why you selected this project. 

My TechLadies project is with I Am Talented, which helps students to discover their talents in non-academic pathways. This is especially meaningful to me because academically, I was a late bloomer. It might be hard to tell now, but I was really bad in Math back in primary school. I would always fail my exams despite how much time I’ve spent studying. My self-confidence took a big hit. It was only when I’ve graduated into secondary school where maths is all about logic and algebra (none of those abacus and memorizing work) that I started excelling in my studies.

Because of my experience, I understand that studying in Singapore can be stressful and damaging on one’s self-confidence. IAT struck me as a great social empowerment initiative for youths to not only discover their strengths but also hone their talents and overcome challenges. I hope that pursuing non-academic pathways may help students also similarly find their footing early on in life and develop their self-esteem. I believe it is important to develop the next generation as they are our future leaders. I also believe in the power of education and that education comes in many forms (not just academic).

How do you see yourself using your coding skills for in the future?

Through TechLadies Bootcamp, I hope to meet more women in the tech industry and to gain insights on having a career as a programmer. Besides that, I want to develop a web application that not only meets the basic requirement of I am Talented but to go above and beyond their specifications!

I would also like develop more web applications that can significantly improve people’s lives. In particular, I believe that information overload from endless streams of tweets, texts, emails or interesting articles on Facebook is a struggle many people face everyday. If I am able to develop an application that tackles this problem holistically, it would be a big check on my bucket list.

In the future, I would like to keep learning and developing my technical skills. Technology is an ever evolving industry and I believe there is much to learn in order to be agile and to remain relevant in the industry.

Meet Clara – Fashion Businesswoman, Curious Introvert, TechLady

The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 12-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 6 ladies were chosen for the TechLadies Bootcamp #3. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about their backgrounds and learning journeys. Hopefully that'll inspire you to start learning how to code!

Clara Chow

If you could tell a story about yourself in one or a few sentences, what would it be?

A very socially awkward but curious introvert, that asks ‘why?’ too much. It is hard to convince me not to do something once I’ve set my mind on it.

Oh also, I like puns and I struggle with mornings.

What are you currently working as?

I have been running my online boutique selling self-designed apparel for about 5 years now. It is extremely challenging to manage all facets of the business and be 100% self-disciplined/motivated, but has been a fantastic learning experience. I don’t think any office job would have given me the experience and knowledge I gained whilst struggling without guidance through these years.

What sparked your interest in learning how to code?

I guess some part of me always loved web development. When I was a teenager, I built websites on Geocities for my adopted virtual pets to ‘live’ in. I promise this is cooler than it sounds. What got me hooked on web development was the immediate gratification programming provided — I could insert a code snippet and have the result rendered on the page instantly. To this day, I’m still awed by the magical process of transforming semi-gibberish into functional and useful websites that anyone can see on the WWW.

I wasn’t exactly a model student in school, and performed dismally for my A Levels. This severely limited my options in university and I ended up studying Project & Facilities Management – something I had neither passion nor interest in. After graduation, I worked at a desk job for an unfulfilling year before deciding to take the leap and start my own business.

Again, fashion wasn’t an industry I had particularly keen interest in. After 4+ years, my motivation to persist started waning quickly. I couldn’t see myself staying in this industry for the rest of my life. I thought: “Since I’ve always been keen in technology, why not rekindle that childhood flame? It’s time to move into the tech industry as a programmer.”

What got me hooked on web development was the immediate gratification programming provided — I could insert a code snippet and have the result rendered on the page instantly. To this day, I’m still awed by the magical process of transforming semi-gibberish into functional and useful websites that anyone can see on the WWW.

What was your first thought or reaction when you heard about TechLadies?

“YAASSSS”. I have been trying to pick up rails on my own for over a year now by attending workshops and meetups, but it wasn’t easy without any sort of structured syllabus and guidance. It was hard for me to acquire new knowledge systematically and build on it.

There was also this sense of a lack of purpose — I didn’t know what I wanted to (or could) build. Even if I did, the app would serve no significant purpose. I have toyed with the idea of approaching an NGO on my own to help them with their website, but would always chicken out because I lacked confidence in my own abilities. I didn’t want to take on a project that I couldn’t deliver on. The whole TechLadies initiative and TechLadies Bootcamp was like a sign — there was no excuse for me to not apply.

Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Bootcamp?

I saw the Bootcamp as a way for me to do ‘disciplined learning’. There was:

  • A clear objective — building a functional app by the end of the bootcamp
  • Structure — weekly meetings with my team and a healthy number of hours I had to put in on my own prior to these meetings
  • A willing, experienced mentor <3
  • The teamwork element — working in a team is obviously more complicated than working solo, involving a whole different set of processes. There is also that sense of mutual support, learning and teaching.
  • A fantastic cause — helping an NGO become more efficient by lightening their administrative load

If you are someone looking to learn how to code, you’ll have to be seriously nuts if you do not at least apply and try to get into the program.

You had to create an app before you could apply to the bootcamp. Tell us more about the app you made!

My app is called The Foodlogger and it’s a meal tracking app. The idea for this app surfaced from a recent visit to the doctor. I have been living with Chronic Urticaria (commonly called Hives) for over a decade now, and recently went for a checkup to see if things have improved. The condition is basically an allergic reaction in the body and the trigger is unknown. Don’t worry! This is not contagious. Feel free to share hugs and high-fives with me!

The doctors did tell me that food is a very likely suspect in causing these daily allergic reactions. They gave me a list of common allergy triggers and suggested that I start a daily food log to find out which food group(s) were possibly contributing to my condition, and so the app was created!

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on and why you selected this project. 

I am thrilled to be on the Touch Young Arrows (TYA) team! Like many other NGOs, they are currently using Excel spreadsheets to store, sort and analyse data. This process can be tedious, causing conflicts when there are multiple sources of info (which occurs frequently) and is prone to errors.

I picked this project as I was really drawn to the product’s complexity — I love a challenge! I watched the pre-bootcamp video of Grzegorz (the coach for this project) teaching basic Ruby concepts and really liked his teaching style. He could explain complicated concepts in a structured, broken down manner that I could understand for once! It made this project resonate with me even more.

How do you see yourself using your coding skills in the future?

I’m not sure if I have an unrealistic expectation of the future at this point in time, but I’ll like to be able to build complex, decent looking apps and to deploy on my own.

I also want to secure a job as a developer. Coding been really fulfilling for me and I haven’t felt so at ease with myself in a long time. Well… of course the process is frustrating at times when I just can’t get things to work, but in general, I’m really happy now. It is the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, and I wake up feeling excited to attack the code! In a completely non-violent way, of course. I’d like to be a programmer at a company that could help me further develop my skills.

I would also love to build apps for more NGOs! They get an app, and I build up experience and competency. Everyone wins! If at some point in the future, I would love to spread the joy of coding by sharing my knowledge with other ladies who want to start coding.

Meet Cornet – Intern, Go-Getter, TechLady

The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 10-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become professional programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 9 ladies were chosen for the first batch of the TechLadies Bootcamp. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about the background and learning journey of these ladies. Hopefully that'll inspire you to start learning how to code too!

If you could tell a story about yourself in a few sentences, what would it be?

If I were to sum it up in one sentence, it will be this: My life revolves around the love for matcha (green tea). You will never spot me without a matcha snack or drink at any point in time!

What are you currently working as?

My current day job? I’m currently interning at Tinkerbox, a design and software development company! I’m working on an app that helps with automating most of their company’s processes. My responsibilities are to assist the leading developers in developing small parts of the application and fix bugs during test runs. It’s been quite a challenge so far. Minor bugs tend to be found on a daily basis and I have to fix as many bugs as possible before they pile up. It can be an arduous task sometimes but I am enjoying it so far. No complaints!

What sparked your interest in programming?

To really understand my passion for programming, I’ll have to start my story from way back before college. I excelled in Science in high school so my family advised me to take up Chemistry Engineering in college because it has great employment opportunities in Malaysia where I’m from. I followed their advice and studied Chemistry Engineering at The Ohio State University in the United States of America.

I was good at what I was doing back in college but I’ve always thought that there’s something more out there – something I would feel passionate about doing my entire life. And I decided to take a break from school to search for that. I was recounting my story to my friend back in Malaysia when he suggested that I pursue programming. It didn’t make sense at first, but then it all clicked.

I remembered how much fun I had when I was taking some introductory programming classes at the university. You may have heard how satisfying the feeling is of being able to create something – anything – you imagine through programming, and that was the exact emotion that I felt back then. It was as if doors of opportunities suddenly presented themselves in front of me, each one leading me to some path towards creating the next big thing!

My friend also recommended me sites like Codecademy to learn to code from but it was not enough. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to intern at Tinkerbox when I met the founders through my friends, and now I’m here in Singapore finally learning how to code!

My experiences with programming, even though it is still in its infancy stage, has made me determined to pursue this as a career path. I’m taking a break from college and fully devote my time to becoming a junior developer.

What was your first thought or reaction when you heard about TechLadies?

I was elated, surprised, and thrilled! I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, how can such an excellent program exist without having to pay!”

This is the perfect program for me, and this is exactly what I needed and what I was looking for! Since I’ve decided to take a break from school, I knew that an internship alone is not enough to give me all the learning experience I need to reach my goal of becoming a developer.

I was also enthusiastic about being able to meet more women who share this same passion for technology, to be able to connect with and learn alongside them. As much as this was a fantastic opportunity for the women and myself for me to learn and better my programming skills, it was also something meaningful as I will be able to contribute and serve the community. I haven’t seen a single program that offered such a comprehensive syllabus with a greater purpose in mind.

With this knowledge, I know I can create a tool to make a difference, be it to a community or to change people’s lives and perhaps, livelihood. I would like to use this skill to help people in need.

What do you hope to gain out of joining the TechLadies Coding Programme?

Ultimately, I hope to gain enough out of the program to build something that will allow me to contribute to the community. With this knowledge, I know I can create a tool to make a difference, be it to a community or to change people’s lives and perhaps, livelihood. I would like to use this skill to help people in need.

Looking forward, I sincerely hope to start my career path as a junior web developer, and press on to progress on the career ladder, eventually becoming a skilled web developer who will create the next most empowering, life-changing tech product – like Facebook!

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on now!

The project we are working on in TechLadies is for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME).

HOME is a non-profit organization that aims to give foreign workers the chance to be heard when they encounter an unfair situation or circumstance, such as unpaid salaries, excessive working hours, work injuries, physical, sexual, verbal and psychological abuse. HOME believes in the principles of equality, non-discrimination, and dignity for migrant workers.

Along with two other talented women in my team, and my programme coach Jaryl, we are helping HOME to create a system that helps their organization and clients to communicate more efficiently. We are currently building the active record model, which is part of the ruby on rails application that is responsible for representing business data and logic. In this project, we focus on a couple of main models such as the users, organization, cases and issues. We work with them to link up and make sense of data.

How do you see yourself using your coding skills in the future?

I have big dreams and goals, and I’ll reach them one at a time with the coding skills I’ve learned through my time in the programme!

First and foremost, I’d like to build an e-commerce platform for my sister’s online business. My sister runs a third-generation laksa shop, called Ah Gong Laksa in Johor Bahru, with the aim of modernising a traditional business by selling packaged laksa paste online. I would like to help her create a product to do that. Eventually, I want to work as a junior web developer at a tech company!

Meet Erika – Consultant, Polymath, TechLady

The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 10-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become professional programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 9 ladies were chosen for the first batch of the TechLadies Bootcamp. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about the background and learning journey of these ladies. Hopefully that’ll inspire you to start learning how to code too!

If you could tell a story about yourself in a few sentences, what would it be?

My short story about myself would have to be that I am admittedly a nerd, with an insatiable appetite for learning new things.

What are you currently working on?

I work as an independent strategy consultant in the mining and resources industry. I previously worked at Rio Tinto for five years, managing sales agreements and working on strategy projects for the iron ore marketing division.

After that, I joined The Boston Consulting Group and worked there for 2.5 years. I went into consulting because I was interested in developing strong commercial skills set that would be transferable across several industries, this stems from my strong belief that a skill learnt, one that is meant for a specific field, doesn’t mean it can only be used in that particular field.

After leaving the firm, I found that combining my specialised industry knowledge within the consulting toolkit would be the best way for me to add value to my work as a consultant. I mainly work with clients in the mining industry as I am deeply familiar with the industry and its history. After having worked in mining for several years, I find my clients directly through my own network. I work with my clients to develop and implement strategic initiatives to best position themselves over a 5-10 year timeframe.

At times I also delve into a few other industries because I believe that learning about developments in other industries provides me with a fresher, broader perspective, expanding my view on the strategies, capabilities, and ability to execute work with far greater insight for current projects, and the projects looking forward. There are a number of companies that help to connect ex-management consultants to freelance projects so they have made it possible for me to engage in tech-related projects.

What made you interested in coding?

What first attracted me to coding was the love I have for solving logical problems. I found that learning a coding language required me to tap into this part of my brain, and hence, learning how to code drew my attention. I felt that it would give me greater analytical skills and enhance my problem-solving skills.

I am really excited by how technology is rapidly changing the world we live in. It’s amazing to think about how intertwined our daily lives us with technology. We now rely on applications and smartphones to shop, connect, research, eat, exercise – the list goes on. However, a lot of us don’t understand anything about what goes on “behind the scenes”. I wanted a glimpse into this world, to feed my curiosity, and to benefit from it in every way possible.

Also, I often work with website developers, and sometimes found it hard to understand the jargon – it feels like a whole new language. This experience with learning how to code has really made me better appreciate what goes into developing a website, and the costs and time required to complete tasks.

There are a lot of industries women don’t consider simply because they are not traditionally considered “feminine” and it is a great shame because this thinking can close a lot of potentially promising and enjoyable paths.

What was your first thought or reaction when you heard of TechLadies?

I think it is an excellent initiative to encourage people like myself to take the leap forward with courage. I hold a lot of respect for everyone who has given their time and energy to make this happen. Looking forward, I hope that TechLadies would be engaging in dialogues and collaborate with other initiatives to encourage women to explore non-traditional paths.

I work in mining & resources and management consulting – two areas I have thoroughly enjoyed. However, like coding, both areas are very male dominated. I ended up working in mining because I was in the right place at the right time. I was returning to Perth in 2006 at the beginning of the largest mining boom in history and my background in law and Chinese placed me in a strong position to manage the sales agreements for Rio Tinto. If it hadn’t been for this fortunate set of events I wouldn’t have considered entering the industry. There are a lot of industries girls don’t consider simply because they are not traditionally considered “feminine” and it is a great shame because this thinking can close a lot of potentially promising and enjoyable paths. After my time at Rio Tinto I spent a bit of time working in retail, thinking that as a female I would enjoy it more. What I found was that the retail space was very reactive and fast paced and that my personality was unexpectedly more suited to mining. At the end, perceptions of which industries were more feminine and masculine had absolutely nothing to do with what suited me better – and I’m sure that women who give programming a chance would be able to resonate with this.

Every industry offers boundless of knowledge and experience for both men and women to gain and benefit from. I just know that when all industries leave themselves more open being inclusive and diverse, the perspectives, discussions and solutions made would benefit everyone.

Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Coding Programme?

I love learning new things. I think we should never stop learning. The tech scene is such a vibrant and exciting one and everyone is so welcoming and friendly so it was also a great chance to meet new and inspiring people who are doing great things.

I also strongly believe that learning how to program would not only open more doors of opportunity for me, but it would also improve my abilities in both my career and life. This fed my drive to applying for the TechLadies’ flagship 8-week coding program that I was fortunately accepted into. I’ve never regretted it since.

What do you hope to gain out of the TechLadies Coding Programme?

I started learning python in my spare time and want to understand what else it could be used for. I feel somewhat like somebody who’s just learnt a new language, who’s looking out for someone to practice it with so that we will both benefit from it.

After working with TechLadies, I found myself spending more time understanding Django, a Python framework, and I’m proud to admit that I can now see how Python can be used to create a website.

This process and discovery have opened my eyes to understand that the applicability of coding languages is exceptionally broad. Python can be used to develop websites, games, and conduct predictive data analytics. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and that’s what excites me and I believe, excites other programmers as well.

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on and what parts you’re building on now.

We’re developing an online platform for people in the Asian Film Archives (AFA) to submit to have their films archived. I’ve been working on the contact form, which will allow people to contact Asian Film Archives directly with the queries they may have.

How do you see yourself using your coding skills?

With this new set of skills, I can not only develop basic web applications, but I may also use it to better communicate with web developers, which is a huge bonus for me, seeing as I am required to speak with them fairly often.

Looking forward, I’d love to work on creating platforms to help teams work more efficiently and effectively in the workplaces of different industries and fields.