Penn State Libraries Launch Coding Course For Women
In case you didn’t already know, there are a lot more men than women in the computer programming field. In an initiative to change the status quo, Penn State Libraries are implementing a computer programming workshop called “Code for Her.”
The nine-week program is aimed at dedicated female faculty and staff of diverse genders. Class sessions are limited to two hours per week and take place from September to November. This is a beginner’s coding course to learn the basics of web development and programming in three languages.
The workshop is completely free and those interested do not need any prior coding experience. All you need to have fun is a little determination and a laptop.
“The aim of the workshop series is for participants to gain the confidence to pursue future self-education with a basic knowledge of basic programming languages in a supportive and stimulating environment,” said Carmen Cole, consultant in research and IST librarian.
Its aim is to provide a space where women can feel free to amplify their voice in a traditionally under-represented field. Indeed, according to US News, a 2014 study found that only 18% of computer science graduates were women.
Cole was inspired to kick off the program after hearing Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani speak at the opening session of the American Library Association (ALA) 2017 Annual Conference. Saujani’s Girls Who Code is a national network of clubs and summer programs that teach teenage girls about computer programming.
“I was wondering if there are any college coding clubs for women,” Cole said. “I haven’t identified any other program as Code for Her, so I decided to start one here at Penn State.”
Not surprisingly, the program generated a lot of interest. As of Monday, Cole had over 50 students and 65 faculty / staff applying. Although space is limited for the course at the moment, Cole’s hope for the future is to get a larger space for the workshop so that they can accommodate more participants.
If you would like to experience the program for yourself, applications to register for the workshop are still available by Friday 23:59.