CodePlus returned to Salesforce Ireland for another day of career talks from women working in tech! 250 girls from 11 schools across Dublin, Mayo, Louth and Meath came to be inspired by the stories of women who are loving their careers in computer science.
The Salesforce Women’s Network kindly provided over 30 volunteers on the day to come and meet the students and to tell their stories.
This event provided an opportunity for students in girls’ secondary schools to learn about the many different career opportunities that the technology sector provides through meeting and engaging with female role-models working in the industry. A morning session was run with a format of 4 speakers from different roles within Twitter giving a 5-10-minute talk on their study, career and experience with computing and IT, followed by a panel discussion in which the students could ask questions from the floor. To finish the session there was an opportunity for the girls to speak informally with employees while snacks were available. The date chosen for the event coincided with “International Day of the Girl” which made the event a fitting way to celebrate the day for the students, teachers and volunteers involved.
The annual CodePlus graduation and showcase took place in the Science Gallery Trinity College on Friday the 3rd of May. Over 200 girls from 30 schools attended the event with the Dean of Research Professor Linda Doyle (pictured) addressing the students as guest of honour.
30 girls from this years programme participated in a 3-day hackathon and showcased the top coding projects of the year, including an interactive fitness app, an AI chatbot and a Netflix suggestion generator.
The event was attended by CodePlus students, teachers and special guests from Salesforce, Workday, Dell, Twitter, Intel and Bank of America. All CodePlus students were presented with a certificate to celebrate their “graduation” as novice programmers with CodePlus in 2018/19 and completing over 20 hours of coding programme learning Scratch, Python and HTML.
CodePlus were delighted to host over 30 women from tech companies and universities for breakfast in the Science Gallery to talk about careers in Computer Science.
Science Foundation Ireland’s SmartFutures programme supports students by linking professionals to give talks about STEM in schools across Ireland.
Outreach from women in industry is particularly important in the issue of addressing gender imbalance in Computer Science. Role models and mentors can make a huge difference to attitudes and challenge a number of stereotypes held by girls. Some discussion included how to show that CS jobs are sociable, creative, involve much more than coding alone and should be open to everyone across gender, race and social background.
We are lucky to have such talent and enthusiasm from volunteers with great stories to tell from their lives as developers, engineers, testers, analysts managers and all the other cool jobs there are out there for computer scientists!
We were also proud to have former CodePlus students Aoife Dunne and Klaudia Obieglo from Coláiste Bríde come to talk about what the CodePlus programme and having role models in computing means to them;
“Codeplus gave us many opportunities. Some bigger than others but all equally important. We were able to meet new people from all around Dublin and make friends. We got to learn more about computers and how to make games. Through Codeplus we all got the opportunity to gain confidence and to develop our interests. Without these opportunities we would not have found out our strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes.”
– Klaudia, CodePlus Student
CodePlus still need the support of women to get out and spread the message that computing is there as a choice for everyone, especially for our brilliant girls. For more information on how to get involved as a CodePlus speaker or coding mentor see how to get in touch here!