Things have changed a lot since then: coding today really is a necessary skill that is and should be taught at schools. Though there still is hope for the likes of me: girls and women who were awoken to code later in their lives and got excited about it as if they were teens. Thanks to Rails Girls any girl can get an inspiring kick-start to their code-learning journey.
Rails Girls is a wonderful concept founded by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen that helps girls get inspired and build things. The concept is realized through hands-on workshops that are community-driven, open-sourced and targeted specifically towards females. Rails Girls have already been held in Helsinki, Singapore, Shanghai and now Tallinn, moving to Berlin and Krakow this April.
I had the chance to participate in the event held in Helsinki last September and past weekend I had the honor of helping organize the event in Tallinn. Both events are endlessly inspiring: there is some magic in the air when 30+ knowledge-hungry girls gather in the same space and take their first steps in learning code together.
The cause of Rails Girls is indisputably brilliant and the way the events are organized is refreshing too. One of the biggest things I like about them is that they heavily rely on the local community: all coaches that help out at the event come from local hacker communities. Participants are chosen based largely on their enthusiasm but effort is put into mixing girls with very diverse backgrounds.
Materials used for learning are widely available online for anyone to use so you can continue learning after the workshop. Plus, Linda came up with Bentobox - a brilliant way to conceptualize all the different components you need to know about the online environment through a simple model that is easy to understand.
The biggest praise of course goes to the girls who take the leap of faith to attend the event and despite frustration spend a good five hours or more on a weekend to learn the basics of computer programming. Even if 1% of them continues coding after the workshops, Rails Girls' objective has been realized!
PS Rails Girls Tallinn was organized with the help of Garage48 Hub that has probably the coolest dog in town!