Leading a Python Lab for Women Who Code DC

Leading a Python Lab for Women Who Code DC

In March 2020, I led a Python lab session, titled “Get the Gist of Dictionaries & Lists,” for Women Who Code DC, a non-profit organization in Washington D.C. dedicated to providing opportunities for women in technology careers. This event was intended to inspire women to excel in technology careers and introduce them to data structures, primarily focused on Python lists and dictionaries. Women Who Code shares the belief that the IT industry will benefit from bringing more women into technology jobs and envisions a future where women are equally represented in the industry.

We had 69 attendees and two volunteer teaching assistants for this teaching lab. Participants were at a variety of skill levels, ranging from those who had never programmed before to full-time developers. Although the event was aimed at women, all individuals were welcome.

I want to give kudos to the women in our group for their great attitude and hard work. The session began with networking before transitioning to learning the basics of Python. We walked through the basics of data structures, lists and dictionaries. In my lesson, I explained simple lists and dictionaries before delving into more specific variations, including numeric, character, and multi-dimensional lists and dictionaries. Attendees also learned how to access, add, delete, and slice elements from a list or dictionary. I provided a few coding problems for attendees to try after illustrating a few examples. I also explained the theory behind data structures and gave them some practice questions for homework. We held a Q&A session at the end for participants during which time they addressed any concerns from the lab and also asked general questions related to Python and data structures.

The session had gained so much popularity that I was asked to conduct one for PyLadies DC. I repeated the lesson for them in May 2020. I look forward to teaching future workshops for Women Who Code DC. I’m planning a “Part 2” lab session that will be about real-time datasets using lists and dictionaries.

I enjoyed sharing the importance of data structures since I use these in my developer position at Artemis Consulting on a daily basis. My hope is to encourage the participation of more female developers in these types of workshops. I believe it would be empowering for workshop attendees to meet more women developers during the networking portion of the event. Our company, Artemis Consulting, truly believes in championing for more women in the IT industry and supports organizations, such as Women Who Code and PyLadies, to help foster this growth.     

If you are interested in participating (teaching or learning) for Women Who Code, please contact https://www.meetup.com/Women-Who-Code-DC/.