Learning to code in a field where men are mostly in charge

It’s hard enough to learn a new skill, especially a difficult one like coding. But it can be even harder to learn if you are a woman in a field where men are mostly in charge, like the tech industry.

The FRG Technology Consulting Java and PHP Salary Survey from last year found that only one out of every 10 developers is a woman. But more and more women are getting into the tech industry, sometimes in strange ways, and learning how to write code.

E-learning platforms like Code Institute try to make it easy to start a new career in coding by letting students learn on their own time.

From the first day of the course, we work with our students to get them used to the business world. This includes formal consultations where they can tell us about their starting points, goals, and challenges “Jane Gormley, who works at Code Institute as the director of employer engagement, says this.

Gormley says that a lot of the success stories come from moms who want to change careers in the tech industry. The flexibility of the programme lets them learn how to code while also putting their family and current job first.

But there are still things that stop women from learning to code, like feeling like they don’t know everything. This is called “imposter syndrome,” and it affects women more than men. Gormley says that another thing that keeps women from going into tech is that they don’t hear about other women who have done it.

“Many women haven’t had that experience where a lot of their friends are coders, so if they don’t get to hear stories about what people actually do for work, it’s kind of a mystery to them.”

Even with these doubts, it’s important to remember that women have a place in the world of coding and have even helped make it what it is today. For example, Grace Murray Hopper was one of the first people to write code for the Harvard Mark 1 and created a compiler that was later used to make the COBOL programming language. And, of course, Ada Lovelace was a computer programming pioneer in the 1800s. She made programmes for the Analytical Engine, which is thought to be the world’s first general-purpose computer.

Women from all kinds of backgrounds work in the coding industry today. Before joining Code Institute as a tutor and full-stack software developer, Joke Heyndels had a desk job where she printed labels for repackaged products and sometimes worked on the factory floor when there weren’t enough people to do the job.

“I’ve always liked computers, and in 2007, when I took a Microsoft Office course, I proved to myself that I was really good at guided digital learning,” she said. “I saw an ad for a five-day coding challenge and thought, “Well, I have nothing to lose, let’s give it a try.” I thought it was great, so I bought the whole course.”

Heyndels said that she doesn’t regret changing careers for a second, but that she didn’t even think of tech at first when she was looking for a new job.

In school, girls are pushed toward other careers, so not many of them go on to study coding “she told me. “When I was growing up in the 1990s, I couldn’t learn to code at home either, because the only computer in the house was for my dad to use.”

Gormley says that getting into the tech industry is easier for women if they surround themselves with the right people and get help from a mentor or social groups. Heyndels said the most important thing is that you have to want to learn in a field that is always changing.

“I didn’t know anything either. The most important things in this field are passion and a willingness to keep learning “Heyndels said. “Neither of those is only for one gender or the other.”


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