Every Summer and Winter the Young African Women in Computing group (YAWiC) at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) host coding workshops for female learners from mostly disadvantaged schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. This year, we were once again very proud sponsors of their Summer event.
This year, YAWiC took a different approach and used Django Girls as a guide for the Summer workshop. Django Girls is a non-profit organisation and community that empowers and helps women organise free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources and support. Their initiative is aimed at introducing women who have never coded before to the world of technology with the aim of increasing gender diversity within the industry.
The night before the workshop, 13 coaches and volunteers (all of whom are female students within the Computer Science department) prepared the foundation for each of the female learners by installing Django and creating base websites in Anaconda.
With the base websites set up in preparation for the event, the first thing the girls learned was how the internet works. They were shown how a website on a computer in the United States can be seen by across the world, even in Port Elizabeth! From there, the learners were introduced to Python as an introduction to coding. They were also taught how to use Python to add information to their Django websites on how to create a blog post.
Being taught how to work on Github, created a lot of excitement amongst the learners.
This event applied an interesting and exciting approach to introducing young girls to web development through exploring the backend technology and databases first.
It’s always such an honour to be part of YAWiC’s events through sponsorship, allowing groups of female learners from underprivileged areas to get a day of learning and even goodie bags. The experience was so well-received, some girls even went on to say that it was the best day of their lives and definitely want to pursue a career in software development! We can agree that this was one of YAWiC’s best workshops yet and we are excited to be part of their events in the future.
For more information on YAWiC, visit the NMU website.
For more information on Django Girls, visit the website.