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!