A post, a tweet, a share, an instant message, a download, an upload – we all do that. Well, most of us do nowadays. The learning curve to do all that is not too high at all especially with the way information is served today. However, not too many of us know what powers these things and what goes on behind all these tech activities we do today. Too geeky for most of us. And, it’s probably done by a dude and not a girl. No bias intended.
The reality is – majority of the key players in the tech industry are men. The likes of Carly Fiorina and Marissa Mayer are few and far between. But this drought of women in the tech world may soon end with the recent initiative of Google via its Made With Code Project.
According to Tech Crunch,
This week, Google launched a new initiative called Made With Code (a $50 million investment), aimed at getting young women excited about learning to code and close the gender gap in the tech industry. The idea behind it is to show young girls that the things they love, from apps on their smartphones to their favorite movies are made with code, and they can apply the skills they learn to their own individual passions.
One of the many hurdles that prevent women from venturing into creating code is the perception that it is a man’s world and that coding is difficult. Google is challenging this disbelief and investing in the program offering resources and projects for kids to learn how to code, communities to discuss different lessons and projects with each other and mentors, as well as information about regional events.
Made With Code
Made with Code is an initiative to champion creativity, girls, and code, all at once. The movement is designed to do three things: To inspire girls by celebrating women and girls who are using code to do great things; to engage girls to try coding through introductory projects and resources; and to sustain their interest by creating alliances and community around girls and coding.
Made with Code is meant for girls who have already tried coding as well as for girls who have never seen it before.
Most people, when they think of coding, think of the numbers and symbols that are most often associated with syntax. Google decided, however, to base the coding projects on Blockly. Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming editor developed by Google and used by services such as code.org and MIT’s App Inventor to teach beginning coders the concepts of coding in a fun, visual way. Some of the core coding concepts that are covered in the projects using Blockly include variables, coordinates, statements, strings, and sequence.
The program includes:
- Cool introductory Blockly-based coding projects, like designing a bracelet 3D-printed by Shapeways, learning to create animated GIFs and building beats for a music track.
- Collaborations with organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls, Inc. to introduce Made with Code to girls in their networks, encouraging them to complete their first coding experience.
- A commitment of $50 million to support programs that can help get more females into computer science, like rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy.
Spearheading this project is Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch, etc.