Coding is what makes it possible to create applications for your phone or to browse your favourite website or to even use computer software- they are all made with code. Coding is “creating computer programming code. In a more general sense, the word coding is used to refer to assigning a code or classification to something.”
According to a recent survey by Stack Overflow, 92% of software developers at big tech companies are men. It is a common held ideology that this field has always been male-dominated, but with the rise of females entering post-secondary Engineering programs, the number of female coders is growing.
Go CODE Girl is an event across Ontario that offers girls in grade 7-11 an opportunity to learn about the world of coding and software development and to practice the hands-on skill. Manager of Engineering Outreach Programs at Western University, Joanne Moniz explains that girls can be the future of coding.
“We work with girls because across Canada, there’s only 20% of girls in Engineering and so because of that, there’s a real focus to get girls interested in Engineering and specifically coding because a lot of the jobs of today and jobs that we won’t even know about in the future need coding as a basis,” Moniz says.
While coding can seem confusing and like a lot of intricate information, Moniz believes it is not as complicated as you might think. In recent years, girls who have attended the Go CODE Girl event with no experience at all in coding, have walked away with composing a simple code.
“A lot of people when they look at coding get really scared and they don’t really know what it’s all about, but when you get to the basis of it, it’s really problem solving and looking at different steps that you need to take to accomplish a goal. So, when you break it down like that, it gets a lot easier,” Moniz says.
When asked why Engineering is a male-dominated field, Moniz was excited to reveal that her new statistics show that at Western University, there is now a 50/50 female to male ratio in the program. She equates this information to understanding that “coding is the next reading essentially, lots of students, even from elementary school, like really, really young, like Kindergarten are starting to learn how to code, how to put those different lines of programming together.”
The Go CODE Girl events are taking place across Ontario and at Western University on March 3rd.