I’ve always been a girl who likes to have hobbies. When I was little, I spent many months obsessing over oragami and another couple of months trying to figure out Cat’s Cradle. As I grew up, these hobbies became more advanced from teaching myself German to how to code. I soon gave up on German because DuoLingo wasn’t the easiest platform to learn the language. I do remember one phrase: du bist eine frau (you are a woman). As my interest in German faded, my interest in coding skyrocketed. I spent a whole year teaching myself how to code. I enjoyed the step-by-step nature of coding, and liked that there was an obvious right and wrong answer. I was obsessed with finding the solution.
The platform I used was codeacademy.org, which is a project-based website. Users construct websites and profiles through all different languages of code, from HTML to Java and C++. I decided that instead of just coding on my computer after I was done with my homework, I should expand my knowledge by taking the computer science class at my high school, create the Girls Who Code chapter at my school, and tutor coding to students at the neighborhood middle school. I think it’s always interesting to watch people’s facial expressions when I say that I enjoy to code. It’s prompted questions like, “wait...YOU code?” and “I didn’t know you were interested in coding…”
Yes, I am a girl who codes. And yes, I am proud of it. And while I have been questioned, laughed at, and even judged for being interested in computer science, I am a stronger woman because of all of it. When I tutored coding to 6th graders, we used Scratch (which I recommend for all newbies to computer science), and I enjoyed how both the girls and boys felt comfortable to have fun coding. Their excitement for coding sessions every Wednesday inspired me, and I hope that the future for girls in coding is bright.
My best friend and I decided to bring the Girls Who Code organization to my high school, where we recruited girls from all grades to join the fun club where we ate snacks and made projects through coding. The girls I have met through the Girls Who Code program have showed me that I should be proud of my interests and have demonstrated to me time and time again how to be an inspiration for other girls who are interested in computer science, but are nervous to jump into a predominantly male field.
Computer science is a lot more accessible than many expect. It’s a fun, useful skill that really is helpful for a future filled with technology. I implore all you ladies out there to try computer science for an hour or two, just try it out! Join the revolution of women taking over computer science!