This July we celebrated our second anniversary of Code First: Girls on the beautiful roof of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Bringing together all parts of the CF: G community to catch up and meet over a veritable feast.
We had been holding our breath all week for a dry sunny evening and just as we started the speeches the rain started to drizzle. But this didn’t dampen our spirits. Amali our CEO kicked off the evening with some well deserved thank you’s to everyone who had contributed in making CF: G a success over the year. Alice Bentinck CF:G founder told us how impressed she was by the progress of CF: G and our community. We also had the privilege of hearing from Elizabeth Craggs part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Technology COO Team who gave a motivating talk on the importance of getting more women into technology and why they support the work of CF: G.
Jutta Frieden and myself both alumnae of the Code First: Girls courses gave an insight into how CF: G had affected our careers paths. Jutta from the very first cohort told her inspiring journey in from CF: G to becoming country lead at GoCardless. I encouraged the community not to give into the imposter syndrome and believe in themselves.
After the speeches were done the music started and we were able to gorge ourselves on the incredible spread which Bank of America Merrill Lynch had provided. You could hardly hear the music over the chatter of old friends meeting and new connections being made.
It was an amazing atmosphere of celebration and excitement for the community and Code First: Girls future. Watch out for news on what’s coming up.
A big thanks you to Bank of America Merrill Lynch for supporting our work and for hosting us on their stunning roof terrace.
Most of you will recognise this as the week the country decided it would turn into Spain. Here at CF:G, we’ve been based in our Chancery Lane offices, and have even occasionally opted to take lunch breaks OUTSIDE rather than simply in front of our work, as usual!
Monday was a day of celebration at Code First: Girls, as Clarice received the delightful news of her ACCEPTANCE into the UCL Masters conversion course in Computer Science! Well done Clarice; we’re proud of you. And while Clarice is exactly the kind of success story that CF:G aims to promote in our girls, it does mean CF:G is losing a brilliant Programmes Manager. It’s not going to be easy finding someone quite as dedicated and productive. Anyway, that evening saw our first Summer Intensive social, which of course became a double celebration of both the coding course and Clarice’s happy news!
Aside from this, a fairly quiet week was enjoyed – which we’ve busily been using to make some headway on our never-ending list of Things to Do. We even decided to explore further afield to the faraway pastures of Bethnal Green’s Club Workspace, in order to attend a nearby meeting later on to discuss some very interesting ideas with a really cool enterprise, Founders and Coders, who focus on building a cohort of skilled developers through their intensive training academy.
This week also marks my first month at CF:G… Although it’s felt like a year! Both Clarice and Amali have been brilliant in really incorporating me into the team from Day 1, giving me increasing responsibility in various tasks - from taking over Ambassador interviews, to writing the newsletter, to helping out with a company pitch. It’s the beauty of working for such a small, compact, yet productive company and I honestly couldn’t be happier with where I’ve ended up this summer.
This week, the Code First: Girls team were hit hard, collectively, by the flu. Yes, we all arrived on Monday morning for our second part of the EDIS strategy workshop, hazy eyed, sniffly and generally feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. Then Neysan gave us some colouring pencils (for storyboarding) and we were much happier! We all powered through and managed to build on some great strategy points.
Monday evening also saw the launch of our Summer Intensive course at Google Campus. I loved hearing from all the attendees about why they were taking the course – we have a diverse range of amazing girls from keen students to graphic designers who all want to learn to code for a genuinely great reason!
Having attended the St Andrews Beginners course last semester, I was experiencing some real déjà vu as we watched people’s confused frowns turn gradually into expressions of understanding and coding bliss, under the expert tutelage of our sterling instructors.
This week was a great opportunity to start thinking about some of the big plans we have in store for after summer. This included planning our annual CF:G conference as well as early discussions about our very first INTERNATIONAL venture…. Watch this space for more details!! All I can say is that I’m sad I have to leave at the end of summer and miss this!
I’ve realised this week that I’m really beginning to live and breathe Code First: Girls. It’s so easy to get immersed in our ethos, especially when almost everyone we meet in this field also seem to be really passionate about increasing diversity in tech.
Code First: Girls