In September 2018, I coached a one-day workshop titled an Introduction to Django, for Django Girls, a non-profit organization in Washington D.C. that focuses on empowerment, collaboration, education, and the success of fellow females in the vastly male-majority industry of Information Technology. This event empowers women to learn programming through free one-day workshops in web development. Django Girls shares the belief that the IT industry will benefit from bringing more women into technology jobs.
We had approximately 75 attendees and about 25 coaches for this one-day event. My group consisted of four participants and two coaches (myself and another developer). Our participants ranged from a woman taking CS classes at University of Maryland to a woman who had never programmed before. For any woman interested in programming, this was a great way to learn how to create a website and learn Django in the process.
The workshop was intense!
Kudos to the women in our group for their great attitudes and hard work. We walked through the setup of a Python virtual environment, installed packages using pip and conda, and then worked through the Django Girlstutorial; the tutorial is extremely comprehensive for a one-day workshop. The participants created a basic blog structure, pushed code to GitHub, then deployed their sites to PythonAnywhere. Since my role was to coach, I mostly let the participants work through the tutorial on their own and helped answer questions when needed. They were busy the entire day, from 10:45 AM to 5:30 PM, with a break for lunch. By the end of the day, everyone had a basic blogging site live on the internet.
I think I would sign up to coach future Django Girls DC workshops. It was fun to introduce our group to some of the tools that I use in a professional setting every day. If I could make one change, it would be to have more women coaches participate in the event. When I was transitioning to IT, it was nice to meet women who were already in the industry.
I think it would be similarly positive and empowering for the participants to meet more women developers during the workshop.
If you’re interested in participating (volunteering or learning), please contact Django Girls.