The Mount Airy-based author of 'The Daring Book for Girls' is back to inspire a love of coding - Philly


Jul. 19, 2019 10:19 am

The Mount Airy-based author of ‘The Daring Book for Girls’ is back to inspire a love of coding

Miriam Peskowitz wrote "Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips" to inspire young girls — and really anyone else — to try their hand at the "magic" of programming.
The “Code Like a Girl” cover and its author, Miriam Peskowitz.

The "Code Like a Girl" cover and its author, Miriam Peskowitz.

(Courtesy image)

Update: Miriam Peskowitz's working relationship with LEGO has been clarified. (8/12/19, 5:30 p.m.)
“Code is about having an idea and putting it into action,” author Miriam Peskowitz writes. “It feels like magic.”

It’s the mantra that got Peskowitz, who wrote the upcoming book “Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips,” hooked on programing.

“Something didn’t exist in the world, and now because of your code, it does,” she writes in the introduction to the book, which releases via Random House Children’s Books on Aug. 13.

While the title is marketed to younger girls, the text is really for everyone, said Peskowitz, who lives in Mount Airy.

After co-authoring “The Daring Book for Girls” in 2009, Peskowitz was brought onto a project with Lego, which was trying to develop sets that young girls might be more drawn to. She worked on the development of LEGO Friends storytelling through the company’s global partners.

After being invited to the White House by Michelle Obama in a group of buyers and sellers of children’s toys, Peskowitz felt it necessary to develop a book that attracted girls to the world of technology.

“I wanted it to be a really welcoming, easy to slide into tone,” Peskowitz told Philly. “It’s important to feel like [technology] is theirs, too.”

“Code Like a Girl” dives into programs like Scratch and Python, as well as maker projects, like building your own computer. Some of the most relevant skills Preskowitz said she’s found most useful while jumping into the coding world are the JavaScript ecosystem, and Ruby on Rails.

In 2016, after proposing the book, Peskowitz threw herself into learning the world of code and programing, attending as many meetups, hackathons and classes as she could. (Read her recap of surviving her first Code for Philly hackathon in Fall 2016.)

“Philly’s been such an amazing community for women in tech, I think they’ve had more desire to become inclusive than other tech communities,” she said. “It’s been a really positive place to do this work.”


That inclusion was something she wanted to make obvious in the text. Peskowitz emphasized the feeling that comes along with being able to build something from nothing, and urged folks from different backgrounds to try their hand if they’re interested in the tech scene.

“You know, tech teams are still really monocultural,” she said. “We still really need them to be inclusive and diverse so that we get better tech.”


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