The setting for the session was, fittingly, inside the beautiful mansion within the grounds of Bletchley Park, home of the code breakers.
We were warmly welcomed by Eva and Valerie, the founders of Girlscode MK and its sister workshop, Django Girls. Girlscode supports girls and women in their coding journey by offering free workshops and meetups for members of all ages and skills. The aim of the organisation is to ultimately get more girls and women interested in and progressing into programming and STEM careers.
As our Vital Signs 2018 report shows, the top occupation by job posting, according to MK Council in June 2018, was Programming and Software Development, which highlights it may be possible there is a skills gap between the vacant roles available and those available to fill them. Girlscode's work is helping to close this skills gap while helping more girls and women get into STEM careers.
Through their free workshops, which offer a safe and inclusive environment for women from all walks of life, they help people overcome any coding issues they may have. All of their events are beginner friendly and they welcome those without any previous coding experience as well as those who are currently employed as programmers and web developers.
Girlscode also run regular CryptoParty’s, where you can learn all about internet safety; hosted by Milton Keynes Gallery, a CryptoParty is an opportunity for people to learn the basics from a host of experts, participate in workshops and learn from fellow coders. It is free to attend, and you are encouraged to bring along your smartphone, Laptop or tablet to really get the most out of the party.
The meetup group included volunteers who were experienced in coding, helping people there through whatever issues they had. While we were there, we were introduced to https://learn.freecodecamp.org/ where we got to have a go at coding ourselves. We managed to play about with and create our own little ‘Cat App’ and try learning some basic HMTL elements, with the volunteer mentors there to help us if we got stuck.
MK Community Foundation are proud to have supported Girlscode MK for £5,000 last year to fund women to attend the friendly, informal sessions and lean how to code in a variety of different formats.