Research has shown that learning to code helps develop other practical skills, like problem solving and creativity. Given how dependent current society is on technology, it makes sense that occupations and careers in related fields would be largely in-demand.
Unfortunately, there is a very noticeable gender gap in meeting this demand. Male designers, developers, and computer engineers are very much prevalent in this industry. Females, on the other hand, are largely underrepresented. Many believe it’s due to a lack of resources and support. Ten, fifteen years ago, coding for girls wasn’t exactly encouraged.
Thankfully, times have changed. More and more programs, platforms, and nonprofit initiatives have decided to address this serious issue by giving specifically females fully accessible opportunities to learn to code—and potentially pursue it as a career. We decided to investigate and provide you the information you need to determine the best plan for your child.
Here are the top 8 resources for coding for girls:
There are numerous challenges to overcome when teaching kids to code. Parents would often ask; how do I teach how to code, if I don’t know how to code? How do introduce coding to my kid? How do I get my kid excited about coding? And so on.
What is the best method available to get a child excited about something as intimidating as coding?
“I wanted to develop a kids’ academic enrichment program that would bring high-end coding classes to the Valley. I realized that there is no better way to teach computer programming than to engage kids through game design, Minecraft Modding, 3D modeling, and other forms of digital creativity.” – David Dodge, Founder of CodaKid
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What initially started out as a small workshop with 16 girls and one boy has now become a globally-recognized, award-winning initiative dedicated to “closing the gender gap” in technology—particularly in and through coding.
Coding Girls aims to be the solution to today’s problem of female under-representation in technology-related jobs. Although studies show that young girls are just as interested as boys are in technology and coding, lack of public resources and visible support causes their interest to decline once they hit their teenage years.
Why We Like It:
This gender-neutral organization aims to increase female presence in fields of tech, leadership, and entrepreneurship. To do this, they offer coding for girls programs and events targeted towards preparing girls for leadership roles. Their worldwide workshops and courses are all specifically aligned with their vision of an inclusive, diverse world with female tech innovators and industry game-changers.
- Meetups—informal gatherings of coding experts, enthusiasts, and female empowerment supporters. Chance to share experience and knowledge, and to network
- Workshops—formal, organized intensive activity and discussion on a particular subject matter. Often includes expert-led and expert-guided projects
- Courses—A Coding Girl Course is essentially a series of workshops that amplify the intensity, discussion, and engagement around a certain topic or subject matter. Participants are awarded certificates upon completion
- Panel Discussions—a casual, open conversation between guest speakers and a moderator presented in front of a Coding Girls community. Guest speakers range from famous female engineers, tech leaders, and industry innovators
- Fireside Chats—similar to Panel Discussions
- Roundtable Discussions—similar to Panel Discussions
- Challenges/Hackathons—an organized event where technology professionals (such as designers, developers, scientists, and entrepreneurs) come together to solve problems. They are typically guided by a mentor
- Matchmaking & Career Development—an organized event where Coding Girl members can look for their first job or meet with selected partners for career advancement opportunities
Skillcrush may not be limited to just coding for girls, but 75% of their students are female. And that’s because Skillcrush advocates empowering all kinds of people from different backgrounds with the power of technology. They believe that “tech is for everyone,” and that anyone, regardless of race or gender, can learn how to code.
Skillcrush also places equal emphasis on the joy of coding and its practical aspects. Learning how to code can open up a lot of opportunities and flexible, high-paying career options, which is what they want their students to take advantage of.
Why We Like It:
Skillcrush courses have three distinct characteristics that make them perfect for beginners and curious coders. They’re (1) self-paced, (2) project-based, and (3) mentor-led.
- Self-paced: You can go through the course as quickly (or as slowly) as you need to
- Project-based: Once you learn the theory, you can immediately put into practice
- Mentor-led: You have professional support and knowledge from certified instructors
Skillcrush offers two online course options:
1. Career Blueprint—helping you prepare for the career you want:
- Web Designer
- Web Developer
- Freelance WordPress Developer
2. All-Inclusive Nine-Month Program—all courses, no specific target job/career
- Break Into Tech Blueprint
- Visual Designer Blueprint
- Front End Developer Blueprint
- Web Developer Blueprint
- WordPress Developer Blueprint
- Freelance Business Building Blueprint
Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization that aims to “inspire, educate, and prepare” young women for coding careers and/or general STEM careers. This initiative has partnered with a wealth of leading educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs to equip young girls with the tools, skills, and practical knowledge they need to pursue recognized, high-paying occupations in the technological field.
In 1995, 37% of all registered computer scientists were women. Today, that number has dropped to 24%. Girls Who Code has made it their mission to stop that decline and reverse it.
Founded by Reshma Saujani in 2012, this initiative aims to drastically improve female representation in coding and computer engineering fields, effectively closing the gender gap in “new entry-level tech jobs” by the year 2027.
Why We Like It:
Aside from widely accessible online resources, campaigns, and advocacy works, Girls Who Code also frequently hosts specialized campus programs and after-school clubs to encourage coding for girls as early as possible.
- Summer Immersion Program—2-week virtual summer program that teaches girls in 10th-12th grade the basics of coding for kids and exposes them to potential tech jobs
- Clubs Program—after-school coding clubs for 3rd to 12th-grade girls
- College Loop—college program to help female alumni succeed and build a community of driven, like-minded women in tech
- Code at Home—parents and educators can encourage their students to practice coding and hone their skills at home with free computer science activities from Girls Who Code
Code.org is most known for Hour of Code, which is a nationwide one-hour tutorial that teaches millions of students in over 180 countries how to code. But we’ve decided to include them on this list because of their dedication to making computer science accessible particularly to females and underrepresented minorities.
Their vision is to make it so that “every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer sciences.”
As a member of the steering committee that helped establish the K-12 Computer Science Framework, parents can rest assured that the courses and lessons on Code.org are up to industry standards. For the fourth year in a row, more than half of the registered Code.org students are female (45%), underrepresented minorities (50%), and/or students in a high needs school (45%).
Why We Like It:
Aside from catering to girls and the underrepresented, Code.org is also committed to free curricula and open-source technology. This means that all of their content, from curriculum resources to step-by-step tutorials, are free to use and openly licensed under a Creative Commons license. This makes it incredibly easy for parents, teachers, and educators to make use of their authored lessons and guides for non-commercial purposes.
This also means that, as long as they obtained it legally and through their official website, students may use Code.org content freely for their own personal education and instruction.
And, staying true to their promise of diversity, Code.org courses are translated into several other languages for worldwide use. The Hour of Code content alone has already been translated into more than 43 other languages.
- Hour of Code—a one-hour tutorial that teaches millions of students in over 180 countries how to code. It is launched simultaneously nationwide and is currently available in 43 different languages
- Local Classes—Code.org also offers local after-school programs, summer camps, and in-person classes
- Grades K-5—the basics of game creation, app building, and computer drawing
- Grades 6-12—advanced instruction into creating working apps, constructing games and websites out of blocks, JavaScipt, Python, CSS, and other popular programming languages
- Beyond K-12—specialized courses in Computer Science, for the ambitious coder who wants to further their education
CodeChix is an organization that is extremely vocal about female representation and female empowerment. Aside from their mission statement and branding, CodeChix’s events are often exclusive only to females. However, they do have the rare all-inclusive workshops and/or public events that anyone can attend. These are few and far between, but they’re great opportunities for curious spectators and hopefuls to see how CodeChix operates.
Founded in 2009 by a “tiny group of determined and dedicated Silicon Valley women engineers,” CodeChix can now boast a member base of over 400 talented women engineers. In 2012, they became a recognized nonprofit organization and now have headquarters in three major US locations: Madison/Milwaukee, Seattle/Redmond, and the Bay Area.
Quietly leading the charge against the dropout rate of senior women and engineers in the coding/tech industry, CodeChix has more plans of expansion and won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Why We Like It:
Another thing we can appreciate about this girl-powered platform, aside from their particular inclination towards female engineers, leaders, and developers, is their extensive workshop topics list.
CodeChix offers four main courses:
- Algorithms & Data Structures
- Operating Systems
Some of their previous workshop topics were:
- Algorithms and Directed Acyclic Graphs
- Mobile/Graphic Design for Engineers Workshop
- Toy Robotics: My Little Pleo
- Wikipedia’s Operations Infrastructure
- Android Installfest & App Building 101
Dedicated to serving aspiring female software developers, engineers, and designers, 100 Girls of Code connects young girls between the ages of 12 to 18 with STEM professionals, educators, and guest speakers in the hopes of inspiring them to pursue careers in coding, computer science, and computer engineering.
They invest in future female leaders and computer scientists by offering them opportunities to explore, experiment, and create codes through free workshops and seminars. Here, girls learn the basics—and possibilities—of coding by engaging in innovative, hands-on activities and participating in community discussions. Some of the activities include a general introduction to computer programming, basic website construction, and game and app development (for the slightly more advanced attendees).
The goal is to have all workshop participants have a better understanding of programming and to inspire them to potentially pursue a career in coding.
Why We Like It:
Also known as the TN Code Academy Initiative, 100 Girls of Code host one-day workshops that partner with local female developers, engineers, and industry professionals. These experienced programmers and academically-trained educators also happen to be successful alumni of 100 Girls of Code.
Some of the topics covered by their One-Day Workshops typically include:
- Introduction to Computer Programming
- Programming Languages
- Website Construction
- App Development
Founded in 2010 by Vanessa Hurst and Sara Chipps in New York City, Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that started out as a general response to the low representation of women in tech and computer science careers. Determined to make a difference and bring the scales back into balance, Hurst and Chipps hosted a simple class to teach women general computer science/engineering skills.
This class sold out in 24 hours.
Today, Girl Develop It has chapters in five cities and boasts a whopping 55,000 members nationwide. Designed to foster a welcoming, supportive environment for “women and non-binary adults” to learn software development skills, Girl Develop It envisions a world of inclusivity and diversity in technology.
Why We Like It:
Girl Develop It is committed to providing affordable and accessible coding for girls programs. These classes are offered all across the country and are available year-round. Interested participants can choose between online courses and physical, in-person group events. Some programs and classes are even free to attend!
Girl Develop It offers a diverse range of different classes focused on different coding topics—from basic web design to common programming languages. They don’t currently have a set curriculum or program course, but you can always check their website to find out the latest class or course is offered!
To recap here are the eight platforms we covered:
- Coding For Girls
- Girls Who Code
- 100 Girls of Code
- Girl Develop It
With female empowerment and gender equality being such hot (if not a little controversial) topics today, it’s no surprise that so many people have responded accordingly.
These eight platforms are just a fraction of all the programs, initiatives, and organizations specializing in coding for girls. So if your daughter, sister, or female friend is even just the slightest bit curious about coding, you can rest assured there are certified resources and communities available to help them out.
With over 56 courses, 160 quests, 525 challenges, and counting, CodaKid is the ideal platform to introduce coding for girls.
So what are you waiting for? Start a free trial today!