What makes an English Literature undergraduate who has just completed her first year decide to sign up for a 6-week intensive coding course?
Firstly, the same reason that I love analysing literature: I wanted to know how things work. We use technology every day and rely on so many apps and sites for both our work and private lives. How do they function? Do I have the potential to build these too? Secondly, I wanted to combine creativity and my interest in tech to challenge myself and see if a career in this industry was one I should consider further. Using my creativity in the digital space was entirely new territory as I came to the first session with no experience of coding. Yet, at the end of 6 weeks I had gained both theoretical and practical knowledge of several coding languages and software packages.
The most interesting thing that we explored on the course, in my opinion, was the range of design functions available in CSS, and how specific you can be with the design you create by using a single command in different ways. This ability to design something almost exactly as envisioned, with the best User Interface possible is certainly not an option with web-creation sites I have used in the past. It was even clearer when all the teams pitched their projects: every group’s site had a different cohesive design which suited their site’s ambitions and the styles that the individual developers had adopted. As someone interested in web development, the challenge of tailoring each site to suit the client as much as possible is something I find really interesting.
This course proved to me that there is space, not just for women in this industry, but for women from all different educational backgrounds – be it an English Literature student, or a woman with a more conventional path to coding, such as an engineering degree. This is because of the career talks from experts from different parts of the industry and through conversations with the course instructors about their own career paths. In fact, judging by the different strengths of the various projects by other groups in this CF:G Summer Intensive alone, this diversity serves different markets, creates different solutions, and can only improve the industry.
My current state of mind is that I will keep an eye out for other courses so that I can continue to learn coding for three main reasons: interest, differentiation in the career sector, and to make a career in the tech industry a viable option.
Code First: Girls