Programming is an up and coming career choice and people are learning at younger ages than ever before. Schools are taking seriously the inclusion of learning how to code into the curriculum as they are realising it is going to be an important skill in the future years of technological advancement.
The biggest issue still remains – although it is being challenged more of late- the perception of IT as a man’s world. There is a lack of female input in computing, the total percentage of all female programmers is 20 percent when there are people out there with much potential, but not enough confidence to make their mark in the ‘man’s world’ of IT.
The key to getting girls into programming, is by building their confidence and interest from young ages, by letting them discover that they are just as able as their male peers.
Linda Liukas, has founded ‘Rails Girls’, which teaches programming skills to women from 160 cities across the world. Linda has begun to focus on young girls with an illustrated children’s book called “Hello Ruby” to get them into coding.
Liukas came up with the idea for her protagonist “Ruby” when teaching herself to program, she has worked for New York Company Codecademy which teaches people from across the globe to learn a variety of different coding languages from the assumption of no prior knowledge, right up to higher levels.
Linda’s book is something to look forward to in the future, and with enough success, has plans of becoming an application which can only grow and encourage a new generation of female programmers to pursue their talents.
For the moment, there is a great language for children who are interested in programming called Scratch. Scratch is applicable for both boys and girls and guides them to program their own animations or games, and enables them to share them with others in the online community – it is available in 150 different countries and in over 40 different languages.
Scratch can be found at: http://scratch.mit.edu/.