During the past four Tuesday evenings, I’ve been involved in the Code First:Girls (CFG) Cambridge course with amazing sessions of intensive programming and fun!
So far, we are halfway through the course and the amount of material we’ve learnt is impressive. The tools that Peter, the teacher, is showing us, are very powerful and completely new to me. It actually only takes a few steps to change the basic elements of a webpage, and the outcome just depends on how creative you are and also (mostly) on how much time you devote into playing around with it. The sessions always start with Peter showing new tools to add elements to the webpage or explaining how to implement some new code to change features on our websites. We then are given time to play with the commands we just learned. I quite like this time because it is really a space to discover how much we can do and how to make adjustements to the webpage with different pieces of code. It is also a very stimulating experience to share such a discovery experience with energetic and likeminded girls!
Apart from the very enjoyable time we spend during the sessions, CFG has reminded me how much I like coding. I started learning programming during my first year of undergrad back in Mexico. My degree didn’t involve a lot of coding but we were taught the basics, and I hadn’t done any coding since then. I thought that CFG would teach us similar things, but I was wrong: it is more interactive and exciting! Instead of making you write long sheets of code, CFG shows you how to use tools that are friendly for new programmers and that have the power to create websites. Also, being an all-girls course makes the atmosphere different. It is easier and less intimidating to ask questions, which makes the learning atmosphere more open and comfortable.
I really recommend learning to code. It is fascinating! Firstly, it is a skill that will prove useful at any point in life, regardless your profession. Also, we are a generation that has a daily interaction with computers, smart phones, tablets… and we actually depend on these machines to communicate. Learning to code means understanding how these machines work and also learning how to make the most out of them. Thirdly, I have found that programming enables the creation of ideas. It is a different way of expression, a new language that we are learning at CFG. The impact you can have when making your ideas reality by using computers is really impressive. The audience you can reach is not limited anymore to the amount of people you can gather in a big conference room; it now goes beyond numbers you could ever have imagined, making your impact in the world larger.
So if you are thinking of applying for CFG, do not hesitate! It is an amazing experience that you will not regret.
Code First: Girls