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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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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! 🐍


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.


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.


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 to get started!

Have a great 2017!


Stay curious,
Elisha & team

Why we started TechLadies

Participants and coaches for TechLadies Coding Program

When I was starting my previous tech startup back in 2011, I couldn’t find a tech cofounder to join me. That was when I decided that I was going to learn how to code the product myself. The biggest challenge I had was this ­ – “where do I start?”

I started hanging out at Hackerspace to learn from other programmers, and I remembered the discomfort I felt about how out of place I was at my first few visits. I have zero technical knowledge. I felt like a misfit among them – I was one of the few females there, I didn’t know “programmer speak” and I don’t understand what they were talking most of the time. But as I got to know the tech community better, and learned more and more about programming, ­ I fell in love with it.

Programming isn’t just a bunch of codes on a screen; it’s the ability to create. It’s the ability to solve your problems (or someone else’s problem); it’s the ability to dream up a tool and code it into existence. It’s beautiful; it’s like a superpower. 

And the best part about programming?

The programming languages are free to use.

People create useful tools and give them all away. Not just tools, people share their knowledge and help other with their coding problems ­ all for free. The culture of giving is very evident and prevalent in the tech community, and it’s something that has always inspired me.

It’s a shame the tech industry is a male­dominated one and sexism is real. Even in Singapore, the gender ratio at any tech meetup is heavily skewed towards men. Gender ratio imbalance in tech is a big problem to tackle – it’ll probably involve education, government, and unions. But that doesn’t mean that a small group of people passionate about the problem can’t try inching towards that goal. 

This is why TechLadies was created.   

We are a group of people passionate about getting more women into the tech scene. ­We want more women to come to love programming just as much as everyone in the tech industry does, without the perception that programming is a men’s thing or that the tech community is a men’s club. 

TechLadies is a community-­led initiative that introduces more women, and those who identify themselves as one, to programming and the tech industry. We’re trying out a different method of introducing women to programming by focusing a lot of resources to get them into the industry as programmers.

We’ll start with nine women.

These nine women are participants of our 8-week coding boot camp, TechLadies Coding Program, where they will learn how to code by coding an app for non­profit organizations. We’re cultivating the giving culture we see in tech by making this program free and help them contribute to their community with the apps that they create. 

The TechLadies Coding Program’s 9 participants come from very diverse backgrounds. They consist of an air stewardess, a chemical engineer student, a linguistics student, a gymnastics coach, a student entrepreneur, a management consultant, a WordPress developer, a pharmaceutical sales representative, and a customer service rep. They each have dreams they want to pursue with the ability to code.

It’s AMAZING where they come from and where they want to go. In this blog, we will share their stories and coding journey with the world. If you wish to get updates right in your inbox, please sign up for our newsletters below. Otherwise, you can also like us on Facebook to stay in touch.

See you soon!