A lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice

Being a Coder

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My coding interest began during Summer, 2013 when I attended the Girls Who Code (GWC) Summer Immersion Program. Since attending GWC, I have learned how to code. I have had a little over a year of experience with coding, but I am no expert. I have had some experience with JavaScript, Python, C, CSS, JQuery, and HTML.

While at GWC, I learned about the gender gap in technology and especially in computer science. I have also been able to connect and realize the similarities I have with the other girls in the program, who are hungry and eager to learn, and who also hope to close the gender gap in CS. I think it is important to address the gender gap in CS because it is a real problem that begins at a young age, and is crucial to fix.

A few things that I believe will help with the gender imbalance in CS: First, exposing more young women to CS. Implementing courses in Computer Science to girls from ninth to twelfth grades will make it easier for young women to be exposed to CS. Instead of relying upon a program limited to the summer months, it should be throughout the school year, and either after school or on weekends.

After finishing GWC, they have helped us girls bring a Girls Who Code club into our schools. I have been able to bring all that I learned at GWC into the club. Hopefully, this will be the first step to having a CS class in my high school later on down the line. Until then, I hope to spread the word of GWC, one girl at a time.

I continue to code not only through the Girls Who Code club in my school but also by attending hackathons. I recently attended a hackathon at Spotify, and it was Halloween themed. My group's project was titled "Echo" and we coded a microphone to delay someone's voice for 2 seconds and make it echo.

At the hackthon I saw so many cool projects, one of which included a device that senses your hand when you try to grab candy and makes really loud and scary noises. Seeing all the projects made me realize how many cool and different ideas people can come up with and make them happen!

Along with attending hackathons, I actively blog about them on my personal blog. I created my blog this year in May and have continued to share my coding experiences as well as other events I have attended like the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. If you wish to check out my blog the link is: http://lauralynnwillson.com.

With my blog, I hope to inspire other young women and get them involved in computer science or even just in the technology industry! We need more women coders and it will all be possible through coding clubs, programs like GWC, and even just by reading someone's coding experiences. Coding is so much fun, and one can do so much with it. I am proud to be a girl who codes.
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