Five tips for women who want to learn how to code – Bridging the gender and diversity gap in technology

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20-years ago I literally stumbled into the field of of technology, and my life was transformed.  After college I was an aspiring mortician at a local funeral home.  My day consisted of learning to embalm, consoling grieving families, and even singing and praying at the funerals.  Hey, I was every woman!

Unfortunately coding and technology are often presented in a very complex way, and it’s really not that deep.  A career in technology is accessible, you don’t need a thousand degrees, you don’t have to live in a certain area and you don’t have to look a certain way. As I work on bridging the gender and racial gap in technology, I speak with many women who feel they don’t have access to tech jobs or they lack the confidence to try.  I always say there is power in the first step, so below you will find five fun and easy tips (things you can do today) to move you closer to your technology goals:

1.  Try an introductory class.  No, not a class that costs thousands of dollars.  Before you make that type of investment, I would encourage you to try it out first.  After Sisters Code’s Weekend Website Warrior Classes, we have many women who experience coding “ah-ha” moments and go on to re-career into the field of technology or become tech entrepreneurs.  There are also some women who realize they hate coding, and I also consider that a success as they can now truly find their true life purpose.  Bottom-line:  Find a cost effective local introductory class or try an online option like codeacademy.com.

2.  Speak with other women who are in the field.   When I started my career in technology, it was great to see other women who looked like me in the field.  If you don’t know someone currently working in the tech field, don’t let that stop you.  This is where you get creative.  A few options:  Find a local women technology group, Google or Bing a woman you admire in tech and simply reach out (what’s the worst thing that could happen?)

3.  No apologies allowed.  No, you don’t know how to code.  No, you aren’t even sure what coding is.   Trust me, when I started my career in technology the only thing I knew about coding was how to spell the word.  If you are curious about entering the field of technology, don’t apologize to anyone for what you don’t know.  This is the time where you walk in with your head up high, and ask for what you want.  Focus on what you want to learn and take the necessary steps to get you there.

4.  Show up.  “Coding” is the new cool thing and the new buzz word, which means there are quite a few opportunities to  pick up this new skill.  However, I would be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every woman who has told me that there aren’t opportunities to learn and/or network.  The table has been set on a national level, now it’s time for you to show up and take your seat at the table.   Show up for classes, conferences, networking events and job fairs.  As the “excuse annihilator,” I can’t think of any excuse for you to stay away.

5.   Tap into your inner Swagger.  My teenage daughter would cringe at my use of that word, but I like it.  My definition of swagger is your confidence, the way you walk into the room, understanding that you deserve the best, etc.   Before you can learn to code or accomplish any other goal for that matter, you must first believe you can.  The underlying belief that you can do this, that you can accomplish this, that you can re-career into the field of technology is important.  It’s the first step…..

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Marlin is a Globetrotting Speaker, Founder of Sisters Code, and thought leader on bridging the racial and gender gap in technology.  Marlin serves as speaker for Microsoft’s global DigiGirlz Program and has been invited to present at SXSW, Techonomy, Meeting of the Minds, and more.  Marlin also serves as a media contributor on WDIV’s Live in the D.  Marlin’s Book and Music Single empowers girls to love and believe in themselves.

 

 

 

CEO Marlin Page of Sisters Code Discusses The Digital Divide During @techonomy Detroit 2014

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DETROIT – Cass Tech high school and Wayne State University graduate and CEO of Sisters Code, Marlin Page talk’s “women in tech” during Techonomy Detroit 2014 with moderator Andrew Keen of TechCrunch.

“I travel often speaking with young girls about technology” and ”When we look at this digital divide” and “We’re missing a population of women” and “We aren’t taping into this workforce,” said Marlin Page of Sisters Code.

The panel of Brian Forde of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Google’s Chris Genteel, Laura Mather of Unitive, Marlin Page of Sisters Code, and Indiegogo’s Danae Ringelmann discussed way’s to make entrepreneurship more inclusive and the tech industry more of a melting pot in America during Techonomy Detroit 2014.

See Woodlawn Post for the complete article

Lady Paragons Interview – My journey in technology and how we empower women to re-career into the field of technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had an amazing conversation with Sarah Worsham of Lady Paragons during the Women in STEM Podcast.  We talked about my journey from mortuary science to techie, the importance of awakening the mature geek and empowering women to re-career into technology, the Sisters Code difference, bridging the technology gender gap, the importance of walking in the room and “owning it,” and so much more.

Lady Paragons believe that women and girls can and do excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They are building a community to tell the stories of women in STEM, showcase Women’s STEM organizations, and provide a platform where ladies can help ladies succeed in STEM careers. Click here for more information on Lady Paragons.

Below you will find the link to the podcast.  Check it out…would love your comments.!

http://bit.ly/1q51CVP