(Photo by Corinne Warnshuis)
Cassandra King felt that she was becoming irrelevant in her field.
She had been a webmaster at Widener University for a decade. It was a job that had once challenged her, but after a certain point, she just felt stuck.
That was when she decided to start taking classes with Girl Develop It, the local branch of an international network that aimed to teach women how to code. The local chapter was founded by entrepreneur Yasmine Mustafa in August 2011.
King, a South Philly resident who grew up in Puerto Rico, took every class. She even repeated some. After she participated in a Ruby on Rails/Girl Develop It apprenticeship last spring, she felt ready to make the career switch.
Last September, King joined Old City ecommerce company Weblinc. She said she couldn’t have done it without Girl Develop It.
“Girl Develop It empowered me,” she said. “It gave me confidence.”
She plans on helping out at Girl Develop It classes and eventually teaching her own, she said, as a way to give back.
King isn’t the only developer who made a career switch after taking Girl Develop It classes. Below, find a list, courtesy of Corinne Warnshuis, who co-organizes the program and, full disclosure, also works here at Technical.ly as our events coordinator.
- LeeAnn Kinney, who was previously an administrative assistant and now is a front end developer for Bayada Home Health Services in Old City
- Lisa Yoder, who worked as an editor and proofreader and now works as a junior front end developer for Urban Outfitters
- Ashley Chapokas, who was an administrative assistant at video distribution network Poptent and now a web developer at Conshohocken ecommerce optimization company Monetate
- Alexandra Hoefinger, who was a web content administrator and grant writer for a homeless services nonprofit, then an apprentice at South Philly web dev firm P’unk Ave and now a junior front end web developer at Urban Outfitters
- Jana Veliskova, who worked in IT support for Penn‘s medical school, took an internship with AWeber‘s Jessica Ivins (whom she met in part due to GirlDevelopIt) and is now a front-end developer at Weblinc
- Shannon Baffoni, who recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as a developer at marketing firm Red Tettemer. She was previously a quality assurance engineer at Ticketleap.
- Amber Reeves, who was a content writer and now a project assistant and office manager at web design and analytics company FourFront
- Lauren Pittenger, who was a administrative assistant and now interning at web dev firm i-SITE, as well as a working as a freelance web developer and graphic designer