Today is Ada Lovelace Day,
a day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. I participated before in 2009 and 2010, but for some reason I forgot to blog last year…
Most of these women are well-accepted in the specific tech field they are involved in. They’re working for browser vendors or huge enterprises, speaking at top-notch conferences, writing books published by O’Reilly and such. That is, these few are already highly visible. Everyone in web dev who doesn’t close their eyes actively needs to recognize them. It’s clear that there are excellent female developers and computer scientists. But “Rebecca Murphey and Lea Verou can’t be everywhere at once”, as Garann Means once put it. It’s great to name inspiring role models who made it. It’s probably harder to actually make web development and programming accessible for everyone, on all levels. You don’t have to be exceptionally talented, self-confident or extroverted to deserve respect, visibility and of course a well-paid job in the industry. Nobody’s a natural in programming, but everyone should have the opportunity to enter the field and get the necessary support to advance. In addition to naming a few stars (well, they are stars for me) I’d like to draw attention to the thousands of female developers who aren’t as visible yet. I’d like to point to initiatives who help people to get into technology, web development and programming:
- Rails Girls – World-wide movement that teaches Ruby on Rails and web development basics.
- Black Girls Code – Programming classes for girls of color, mostly US, but also South Africa.
- Skillcrush – Startup that sends a newsletter that explains basic web dev terms, tutorials soon to come.
- Geek Girl Meetup – Unconference for geek women, world-wide.
- Berlin Geekettes – A collection of women talking tech.
- Open Tech School – Programming and tech-related workshops for women and their friends.