Diversity & Inclusion
Career development / Coding / Events / Nonprofits / Women in tech

Inside Girl Develop It Wilmington’s first class

“It’s hard to walk into a room full of men,” said one of the attendees. “Here, it’s OK to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

Girl Develop It's first Delaware class met at 1313 Innovation in October 2015. (Photo by Lindsay Podraza)

A handful had IT jobs. Others worked in marketing. One was a librarian. Another was a legal secretary.
All 25 of them were at 1313 Innovation in Wilmington Thursday night for a common goal — to learn the basics of web concepts at Delaware’s inaugural Girl Develop It class.
Wilmington is the 53rd U.S. city to host the nonprofit Girl Develop It, an organization that offers software training courses to women.
Dominique Clarke, Zip Code Wilmington’s community engagement manager, led the two-hour class and covered everything a novice programmer might want to know: What all those acronyms like HTML and CSS mean, the difference between Java and JavaScript and what the different languages are for clients and servers.
Clarke offered some practical tips as well, like how to buy a domain name, how to find inspiration from other websites and what you should know if you’re hiring a developer or want to find employment as one.
The mood was easygoing, and the women said they were excited to meet other beginners who were interested in learning more. Several piped up to ask questions during the presentation, which others said they appreciated.
“Here, I felt like, ‘OK, I don’t look stupid asking these questions,’” said Ashley Randolph, a network apprentice at Barclaycard in Wilmington.
Randolph, 27, said her industry is shifting from hardware to the cloud, and she wants to keep up.
One of her classmates, Ciara O’Connell, has been an environmental consultant for 20 years but wants to expand her horizons and also share her 10-year-old son’s enthusiasm for technology. She said Girl Develop It’s all-female, supportive atmosphere was a big part of the class’ appeal.
“It’s hard to walk into a room full of men,” she said, “and here, it’s OK to say, ‘I don’t know.’”
Clarke, who taught the class, took the same course as a beginner in January and said it changed her life. “I hope it was a pivotal moment for other people too.”
The next Girl Develop It class, Intro to Git and Github, is Nov. 10. RSVP below.

Companies: 1313 Innovation / Girl Develop It

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