The CodeWomen project of MigraCode supports and encourages women students during their MigraCode bootcamp or IT Support & Security course, to work towards their successful graduation and landing a job. The project was started to address the often difficult position of women in the mostly male tech world. By building a community of women developers with a migration background, MigraCode works towards better career perspectives for women students and more diversity in the tech sector. Building a network with women in the tech sector in Barcelona will also benefit women students in many ways.
Much of what women hear about working in tech is about the problems and difficulties they will face, working in all-male teams, and this can easily lead to insecurities and a feeling that “tech is not really for me”. The CodeWomen initiative wants to offer the women students a very flexible context for personal (tech) support and encouragement. In addition, it offers the students a safe environment to share experiences, plans, ambitions, questions and problems with each other, and enjoy each other’s company.
CodeWomen monthly coding session with coaches
The CodeWomen project consists of two meetings per month, plus a dedicated Slack channel and a WhatsApp group for organising, sharing materials, asking questions, etc. The format of the meets is flexible and the women who participate set the agenda. They can come with questions or topics they would like to hear more about, present something themselves, or work on a coding project together. CodeWomen is an initiative under the umbrella of MigraCode and is not an obligation or part of the bootcamp or IT Support course curriculum.
There are two CW meetings every month. The first is a programme event on Sunday afternoon, with a speaker, panel discussion or workshop on various topics: tech/coding topics but also career and job search (LinkedIn, CVs). The volunteers are invited to join these meets as well. These events offer the women a space to relax and hang out together, to talk, and to share how they experience their journey and the plans and doubts they have.
The second meet is a coding session on Monday evening. This session offers an informal setting where students can practice their coding skills, working with coaches. They can work on their own project, on a specific coding problem, on their homework, get advice about their learning path and how to get into a tech career, etc. Volunteer women developers are available to help the students. With these practical coding sessions, the students can build on what they learn during their bootcamp.
Women helping other women learn coding
By building a supporting community, we believe the CodeWomen project can make a real difference for women students and help them to succeed in their studies. The students can remain in the CodeWomen group after graduation, for support and encouragement in their career. We want to show the women that, in spite of the challenges they sometimes face with their studies or working environment, coding is great and a career in tech is possible for them:
“... it is creative, it challenges you to solve problems, and the feeling of victory you get when you solve something after hours or days of frustration … that feeling is the best!”
CodeWomen, an initiative for women, by women
- All women students of MigraCode, both from the Web Development and from the IT Support & Security course, are members of the CodeWomen Slack channel. This channel also includes the organising team and Vincent, and the volunteers who are active in CodeWomen sessions. The CW WhatsApp group only includes the students.
- Women students and graduates from coding schools that collaborate with MigraCode can be invited to CW meetings as guests. The CodeWomen community is open to other tech women in Barcelona as well: self-learners as well as professional software developers.
- CodeWomen aims to be an inclusive community for women, by women, and all women+ are welcome.
- The CodeWomen organising team are Henriette Hettinga, Capucine Rosset, Kimberly Krieg (admin CW WhatsApp group), Marta Mateu, and Farhana Bipasha (admin CW WhatsApp group).
- The CodeWomen meetings rotate: once a month we organise a programme event with a talk or workshop, a panel discussion, a video tutorial, etc. An important part of this event is networking and socialising. The second monthly CW meet is a coding session with volunteers who are women developers and can coach and support students.
- The CodeWomen programme events are on Sundays from 12.00 to 15.30 hrs, and are hosted by CW partners such as coding academies CodeOp, AllWomen and Le Wagon. The CW coding sessions are on Mondays from 19.00 to 21.30 hrs, and are hosted by companies who support the CodeWomen initiative. For both meets the students have to register because places are limited.
- If there are no objections, pictures are taken during the CodeWomen sessions, to be used for the MigraCode website and social media.