NodeGirls Australia

NodeGirls

NodeGirls

Anwesha Chatterjee didn’t want girls in Brisbane to miss out on awesome tech opportunities. So here’s what she did.

In May 2017, I was browsing the internet to find appropriate ways to learn more about NodeJS, when I came across NodeGirls Australia. I had always enjoyed attending women’s workshops such as Rails Girls and Django girls, and was a regular at Women Who Code (WWC) Brisbane, so I was ecstatic to have found NodeGirls Australia – an organisation that runs free JavaScript and NodeJS workshops for women, non-binary and trans folk around Australia.

However, my excitement was short-lived as I realised that they didn’t have a Brisbane chapter yet, with workshops being held only in Sydney and Melbourne. I was prepared to seek other ways to start learning more about JavaScript and NodeJS, but some things changed my mind.

I found out from reading the 2016 Stack Overflow statistics that more people use JavaScript than any other programming language, but a stark contrast to the soaring stats for JavaScript in software was that of the recorded number of women employed in the Software field.

It couldn’t be that women just happened to be less interested in software or coding. I had always loved coding, starting from my very first “hello world” program. However, I preferred learning in a female-friendly environment. It felt like a secure learning space. I felt less conscious of my shortcomings as a coder than I did in a male-dominated environment.

I wondered  — how many women didn’t enter the field because the environment didn’t seem welcoming for a woman starting off? And one can only imagine the number of women missing out on the large number of JavaScript jobs as a result of this.

I decided I wanted to do something about it. This, along with my desire to learn more about NodeJS drove me to take on the role of lead organiser for the Brisbane chapter of NodeGirls Australia.

We had a total of 42 people (including mentors) show up at our first event on 12th August. We had about 15 mentors who had generously volunteered their time to help us run the event. The workshop was an Introduction to NodeJS and ExpressJS.

Science Meets Business

Everyone was incredibly engaged and enthusiastic on the day. We had a workshop with step-by-step instructions that everyone could follow, alongside one-on-one support from the mentors when required. Some of our mentors also prepared talks on some of the major topics relevant to the workshop.

Overall, the feedback we received in the post-event survey was very positive and it was heartwarming to read all the supportive responses.

Teacher Resources

I hope that this is just the beginning for us at NodeGirls Brisbane, as we would like to continue holding regular workshops for different skill levels and covering a diverse range of JavaScript related topics.

If you would like to find out more about NodeGirls Australia or our upcoming events, please visit nodegirls.com.au or like our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter @NodeGirlsBri

– Anwesha Chatterjee

Careers with STEM

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