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“Code and Cupcakes” Teaches Moms and Daughters How to Code, Aims to Improve Diversity in Tech

Progress is delicious.

codesandcupcakes

When Jen Myers first learned how to code over a decade ago, she was often the only woman in her computer science classes. Now a successful web designer, Myers is dedicating herself to making coding accessible to women of all ages–and she’s got cupcakes on her side!

Inspired by her experiences teaching HTML to her nine-year-old daughter and women with the Girl Develop It group, Myers organized what she thought would be a one-time coding (and cupcake eating!) workshop last October. To her surprise, the event’s $35 tickets per mother-daughter pairing sold out quickly; a second Code and Cupcakes event is scheduled for January 24th at The Living Room in Chicago, with another session coming in February.

Due to the initial workshop’s success, Myers has even been approached about bringing Code and Cupcakes to other cities in 2015, and an Indiegogo campaign to help keep the class affordable and fund laptops for participants has exceeded its $4,500 goal. The fundraiser will remain open until this Friday, and any additional proceeds will help finance tickets for participants who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Myers told The Huffington Post she hopes her workshop will help make a difference, however small, in the male-dominated tech world:

The idea of learning how to code is becoming so much bigger than it ever was — it’s not an out-of-the-way thing anymore. People are thinking about how to make the websites we use every day, and I came at the right time to hit some of these things. I really do feel there are a lot of people interested in doing these things who don’t know where to start.

It’s about creating a space specifically for girls and women that takes away some of the pressure to figure out, ‘What will they think of me?’ or ‘Should I be asking this?’ I don’t want anyone to feel like anything is out of their hands, that they can’t do this because it’s too difficult or too hard to understand.

I want them feel included and that they belong, that you don’t have to naturally be a genius to learn how to program some things.

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