Women in Computer Science

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

Melissa Sariffodeen is the CEO and co-founder of Ladies Learning Code, an organization that holds workshops throughout Canada that teach women how to write code for whatever they wish.

Generally speaking the women who attend the workshops are interested in starting their own website, and are looking for guidance on how to start one.

Sariffodeen says code is like learning a whole new language.

“Like learning a language there are certain nuances, queues to pick up on stuff like that.”

In layman terms code is the algorithms behind websites that makes the website do what you want it to do.

code-1839406_1280Ladies Learning Code started off as a one time workshop, Sariffodeen says, but the interest and popularity grew much faster than anyone expected, and it is now a country wide organization.

“I think the first workshop sold out within a day, and the second one sold out in about an hour. [People] are there wanting to learn how to write code.”


There are chapters throughout Canada including London, which recently held a workshop on HTML writing.

So why the focus on women in the workshops? Sariffodeen says menĀ are invited to the workshops, as is anyone who wants to learn- but there’s a reason why they zone in on women.

“Women represent about 18 percent of the computer sciences. They are largely underappreciated in [the field.] We wanted to give women the space to learn judgement free on how to write code.”

A typical workshop has one volunteer teacher per four students providing a hands on opportunity to learn.

“There’s a little bit of a lecture beforehand to get the basics. But after that it’s jumping right into it. By the end of the day everyone has their own website personalized for whatever they need it for.”

Sariffodeen says the reliance on computers is what the world has come to, and understanding them better is a necessity.

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