Natalie Reid on by February 29, 2016
Web design has always been an area of interest for me. As a kid I always played with Paint, Pixel by Pixel, and eventually Photoshop as I got older. In University, I wanted to learn more about coding and design - so I signed up for some courses. I was excited to enhance my skills, but in the end, I found myself disappointed as the classes were very intensive and focused more on the theory than actually building things. I learned very little about design, I didn’t actually create anything, the course felt like a complex calculus class, and I was always the only woman sitting in the lecture. I gave up on learning, assuming it was too hard and just not right for me - until a few weeks ago when our Senior Designer, Meg, told our team about a great opportunity to learn code.
Meg is the Co-Lead for Ladies Learning Code Hamilton Chapter - a not-for-profit program, teaching women and youth how to code and build websites. She and the LLC team had a beginner course planned and I thought it would be a great opportunity to try the whole coding and design thing again, so I enrolled!
Going into the course I was a little nervous. I have zero background in using HTML or CSS and thought that my lack of knowledge might hold me back, but this wasn’t the case. Meg led the course and took the time to thoroughly explain each section, giving us time to test out each new step after explaining it. The mentors were there to assist every step of the way and could easily fix and show you the solutions to your problems.
By the end of the class each person had created their own personal web page with four sections, incorporating different colours, fonts, images, links, and text.
Walking out of the class I felt a sense of empowerment. I was able to create something that I thought would be very challenging, but to my surprise, it was simple and fun.
Programs like Ladies Learning Code are great for those who have very little knowledge about web development. And, in an industry dominated by men, they provide an environment targeted towards motivating women to learn how to code. It removes the barriers and stereotypes surrounding the tech world and creates an appealing atmosphere for women to learn.
One aspect that I felt really added to the empowerment of the course was the female mentors. There were two individuals that stuck out to me the most. The first attends McMaster University and is finishing her master's program in computer science. Currently she has been working on implementing code and technology into electric cars soon to come onto the market. The second mentor started learning how to code by taking LLC courses. When introducing herself to our class she told us that she had taken 8 courses and had taught herself a lot of what she knows. Both of these two women fascinated me because one pushed herself to learn through programs such as LLC and the other is breaking down glass ceilings in the tech industry.
Inspiration flows through Ladies Learning Code’s programs in every aspect. If learning how to code has been sitting on your to-do list LLC is your perfect opportunity to get it checked-off.