So yesterday I told you how I’m doing as I’m trying to learn how to code. It’s not easy for me, but what’s easy when you are venturing into something new, something outside of your comfort zone?
Anyway, today I’m going to tell you why I’m trying to learn this new skill.
Basically, Girl Code wants to bring more females into the tech industry. For most of us, the tech world is seen as a man’s world. I seriously thought that the IT world looks intimidating and hard. That’s until I saw that there are many young women working or studying within the IT-space.
And these females are actually excited about their work! I mean really, who gets excited about computers and sorting out the back-side of things related to computers and the internet? The more I listened to these women, the more I found out that they were there to solve problems.
The hackathon was where small groups of women thought of a problem within their community or a community and then they would look at finding a solution (using tech) for that problem.
This is one of the ways how I like to spend my Saturdays – learning new skills. @bbdsoftware hosted this #GirlCodeWorkshop with @girlcode_za. #womenintech #womenintechnology #womenempowerment #womenwhocode #techitlikeagirl #techies #tech #girlpower #sabloggerscafe #samomblogger #blogger #CSS #html #ItTakesAVillage #community #skillsdevelopment #everydayimhustling #hustle
MORE ON GIRL CODE
I did an interview with Zandile Keebine for Brand South Africa’s site. She said, “it is an undeniable fact that programming is the language of the future and if you want to be part of the economy then it is important to have the right skills that will allow you to be employable.”
She is a co-founder of Girl Code. The NPO was started because “we realised that there were, in fact, a lot of women in tech and that the underlining issue was visibility. We provide a platform where women who are already in the space can volunteer their time and knowledge.”
WHAT I DID NEXT
Last year, I thought of volunteering. You know Mandela Day comes around and you feel the urge to help somewhere, but I thought one day wasn’t going to cut it. I thought “okay if I volunteer I want to be able to use my skills – help with something I’m good at”. I knew if I used my skills, I would be able to put in more time for a valuable cause.
I also wanted to volunteer using my existing skills because I don’t always have money to contribute towards a good cause.
Initially, I thought I would volunteer for Girl Code by being a writer for them, handling their blog posts on their website. But, friends at Girl Code saw another skill of mine and suggested that I help in that area instead. I’m a social media manager for Girl Code – I mainly run the Twitter account.
And social media management had been something I wanted to explore career-wise, so Girl Code is actually helping me do that.
HOW IT’S GOING
In my blog post “Lessons learned in April” I share my experience with Girl Code. I’m definitely being reminded the importance of teamwork and the impact an individual’s workload has on a team.
It’s also nice to speak to ladies with different work positions on how they do things on a daily basis. Each of us is different yet we share similarities.
At the last workshop, for example, the words “Raspberry Pi” were mentioned. Some of the team got all excited, while others didn’t know what the fuss was about. I seriously thought Raspberry Pi was food, but apparently, it’s a tiny, affordable computer that you can learn programming on, for fun.
Hanging out with different people (in small groups) is also doing good for my self-esteem – especially since I’m an introvert.
IS THIS BENEFICIAL
Well, I’d tell anyone to volunteer, preferably in a big organisation (my opinion). Why? Because in a big organisation there are mentors within the area where you are willing to help. One lady, for example, tells us she is enjoying doing project management and learning about it from the peers who have experience in it. And project management is something she’s exploring for the first time while volunteering. How cool is that!
Also, with volunteering, the ball is in your court – you decide when you want to give up your time. But the important thing is, you have to know your why (this helps for when you feel like sleeping in on a Saturday but get up early to volunteer instead).
I have volunteered before – for another organisation – but after a month I stopped working with this team because I felt like they didn’t appreciate my time. One has to guard your time because it is a currency just like money is – or so I’ve heard.
Anyway, I hope this blog post was useful. If you have any questions for me, drop it in the comments below.
Have you ever volunteered before or have you considered it? Please share your story. Thank you for reading!