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Django Girls – Let the coding begin

Who would ever think of spending a full Saturday indoors, coding for several hours? Highly motivated Django Girls participants!


Django Girls – Let the coding begin

Django Girls Geneva participants at IdeaSquare. (Image: Marzena Lapka)

Who would ever think of spending a full Saturday indoors, coding for several hours, instead of enjoying a warm, sunny spring day? Highly motivated Django Girls participants!

But what is Django Girls? Django is a free and open source web application framework, written in Python programming language. The former helps its users to develop websites faster and easier. And since ICT is not a men’s world only, a community of women decided to empower and help women without IT experience participate in free programming workshops: Django Girls was born. The organisation is entirely volunteer-run.

The success is such that 379 events in 260 cities from 72 countries materialised since 2014, revealing the joys of coding to over 9000 women.

IdeaSquare welcomed its Run 2 of Django Girls Geneva after the great outcome last year. Set up by the CERN IT Department, Diversity and Local Engagement teams, the permanence of this fruitful activity is under consideration.

Twenty-three enthusiastic and beginner participants aged 15-39 were very well mentored, in small groups, by 8 dedicated tutors from CERN – all passionate people working in the ICT field. Some of the participants travelled from Bern and one of the programmers-to-be was so motivated that she even drove from Zurich to attend the workshop!

Everything was ready to start… And as soon as the participants were finally registered on the CERN network, the event could finally kick-off: how to create a blog application and deploy it to the internet.

The volunteers were dedicated and eager to help the attendees, who demonstrated continuous attention and willpower during the whole workshop. New friendships were built, exchanges were cheerful in a relaxed yet studious atmosphere. At the end of the day on Saturday, the new Django Girls had learnt the basics of computer programming and created their own website. A very productive and positive day indeed!

This year Django Girls was also set up as a satellite event of Girls in ICT International Day, an event organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Some participants from local schools will continue the journey and present there their achieved work during the programming workshop. And who knows, maybe their dawning passion?

We hope that this event motivated those women to enter the IT world and gave them the opportunity to consider it from a different perspective.

This would not have been possible without the help of the mentors, volunteers and organisers: a huge thank you to all of them!