“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”- Steve Jobs
Thinker who Tinkers!
I cannot help but smile, watching numerous girls trickle in with a laptop and a “ready to code” attitude. A conference room fills with 40+ middle school girls excited and passionate to learn how to design and build a website! We are at the She Codes Art’s first free workshop in Microsoft, Redmond. “ She Codes Art” (https://www.shecodesart.org), is a non-profit which teaches CS fundamentals through art-related activities to girls and other underrepresented minorities.
The workshop starts with a team building activity and a great ice breaker where all the girls in smaller groups were given a piece of tape, a few spaghetti sticks and a marshmallow. Each team uses these materials to create the tallest structure. I sit there observing them letting go of their inhibitions, having conversations and starting to get excited about what they are going to build and learn in the day. After the ice breaker, we spend the next few hours talking about the basics of HTML, website design and complete the hands on coding activities, which resulted in their final, individual, creative websites. At the end of the workshop, girls who came in with no previous coding experience, now had this new website to showcase their skills.
As I stand there helping the girls, I wonder how just a one day conference can unleash so much creativity, technical skills and excitement. The girls seemed so excited to see their own creative websites come alive! It felt so fulfilling to see that I am helping these girls venture into the exciting world of coding!
When I was younger, coding was not something that drew my attention. I had many other hobbies like swimming 4 days a week, painting/drawing, playing the violin…