I Needed Some Help With My Little Sister, And I Found It Through Black Girls Code » VSB

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I Needed Some Help With My Little Sister, And I Found It Through Black Girls Code

Teenagers are perplexing. There’s something about that combination of physicality, virility and utter lack of perspective can make them seem cold and unfeeling. Mean girls, bully boys and all permutations in between hide their former cuteness and potential behind a veneer clouded by social media and raging, swirling, gurgling hormones. But, alas I have two teenaged siblings. A brother and, yes, a sister.

Looking back on my formative years, I remember teenage girls existing. Objects of affection. Disinterested Classmates. Serial Whisperers. But I was not yet savvy enough to notice all the subtleties of their actions. The feints, the misdirections, the verbal inside out hesitation dribbles, the blatant trolling toward concerned family members.

A few friends who are now years removed from that base condition of adolescence warned me of the power that potential embarrassment holds over young ladies of a certain age, so I’ll leave my own sister out of this (mostly), but I needed help with, um, helping her. And allowing me to know her. So I turned to Black Girls CODE. If you aren’t hip, Black Girls CODE is an organization that is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, preparing them to occupy some of the 1.4 million tech jobs in the market, and helping me find out what my kid sister won’t take her buds out of her ear. (Oh, wait that’s embarrassing isn’t it, I’ll stop)

BGC’s latest hackathon in NYC allowed me get a close up look at how black girl magic, rather black girl scientific method, empowers young girls who may feel ignored by their school system or alienated in their communities. Girls need mentors, communities need support and it’s undoubtedly beneficial when youth can look to someone like them to bolster their inner resolve.

Tiana Kara, who handles strategic partnerships at BGC, gave me a little insight into how BGC is working to help girls of color triumph in the current social and professional landscape.

It can empower her where she needs to be empowered. Girls that attend our workshop that go on to work with other boys don’t shy off. Statistically, girls in groups with boys become shy and don’t speak up. Girls who attend our camps become leaders. She’ll definitely learn to speak up for herself.

Management of self image seems to be exponentially more important for teenagers. Flower crowns may be seemingly harmless but the proliferation of screen time has warped the value of self-esteem. Your “self” is your profile. Your image is you. A new school can’t recreate you. Better grades can’t change you. You is a record of events rather than a person. If I’m allowed to use my degree for a moment, one of the key components of Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema is that identity is formed in relation to who you see on the screen. In films, women’s bodies are often chopped into sexualized sections while protagonists and their agency are usually coded male. While Mulvey was pointing out how this dynamic effects women on the big screen the 70s, real time personalized negative commentary via Facebook or Snapchat has been proven to be a more insidious mental worm than the influence of mass media.

Empowerment is increasingly important when self esteem is under assault and our government appears to be exercising their open hostility toward vulnerable communities. BGC arms our girls with technical skills that can demystify the bevy of apps that dominate their young lives, the networking support to present them with opportunities they may have never thought possible, and the community access that gives parents, volunteers, and overly concerned siblings an accessible outlet to turn their concern into action.

Millennials get a harsh rap for their (or our) employment status, but they (or we) came into being at an interesting moment in time. Just in time for the internet to become a truly ubiquitous thing, but not in time for us to be groomed on how to understand and create careers from it. BGC is preparing girls to work in the new world and preventing them for being source material for season two of 13 Reasons Why. Tiana blessed me with a critical gem during our convo,

“Coding doesn’t just help with tech, it also helps you learn how to build. Step outside of the computer and focus on how something works. How is this built?

The communities, businesses, and families of the future are waiting to be built and it’s critical that the our young builders understand that process. It’s just a cherry on top of the sundae that the architects in charge smell like freshly pressed coconut oil and rock Hillman college sweaters. It doesn’t matter if your fluency in CSS, Javascript and Ruby on Rails is akin to badly prepared American tourists on the hip flight to Havana, the women of BGC speak coding languages and common american teenage angst. If you live in or near major metro and you’re looking to find a tech program for your girl, check out Black Girls CODE. Even if STEM isn’t her primary interest, she’ll learn how to build from women who’ve built themselves and their communities, and a boy free sabbatical wouldn’t hurt either. (Embarrassment quota met and succeeded.)

Brandon Harrison

Brandon lives in LA and has Hollywood stories that rival those of Rick James. He prides himself on staying righteous and knowing more about basketball than you.

  • AKA The Sauce

    This is dope. My Gf just started a Coding class for her kids at the Boys and Girls club. We need to get our kids more interested in STEM programs. It’s empowering….for those looking to find some cool places to start try General Assembly and Codecademy. That’s where I started.

  • BlackMamba, Achexual

    This was a good read. I like the work they do, though coding is really under threat of being offshored and this is beginning to happen now. But the skills and connections learned here are invaluable along with that sense of doing something you love and being inspired to do more if it. Wonderful.

  • Well, I’m on this list. My daughter wants to follow in mine and my father’s footsteps by working in STEM, and she desperately needs female mentors because at some point, she’ll be sick of clinging onto me. Finally! This sounds like something my daughter needs to be down with. Besides, it’ll be fun to talk heavy code with my daughter as she grows up, and she needs to be around women.

    I do wonder about positive role models for my daughter though. At some point, I’ll have reached my limits as a dad, and I’ll have to draw on my copious, wide ranging support network on how to get a Black girl to become a strong Black woman. =) This will help.

    • Valerie

      This is wonderful. You sound encouraging like how my dad is (wrote about him on the dad post).

  • Valerie

    YASSSSSSSS!!!! Ya’ll know I’m all about black youth getting coding since this is my field. I’m very passionate about teaching people about coding and programming. We need our people in STEM!

    There are so many different languages you can learn to fit your preference (PHP and Ruby are my favorites). You can create and build so many things through coding. Also Udacity and TeamTreehouse.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Don’t you have to pay for Udacity?

      • Valerie

        They have free classes however some classes you have to pay for. I’m trying to become one of their teachers, they make MONEY.

        • AKA The Sauce

          Do it…then i’m coming to you for FREE…lol

          Teach Ruby….it’s easy money

        • Spicy Kas

          Cool, I’ll know who to hit up for a loan.

          • AKA The Sauce

            That too

          • Valerie

            Lol well I gotta get there first

            • Spicy Kas

              I have faith.

              • Valerie

                Aww thanks. I’ve been told I have a sexy voice but I’m not sure if the camera loves me lol

                • Spicy Kas

                  I seent the picture and once I realized you can’t look down a v-neck top in a 2-dimensional picture, I thought you were quite attractive. You’ll be just fine.

    • Darkchloe144

      When you still trying to teach yourself HTML and CSS, and all these other languages pop up in article and thread… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0d356c4b511c12777ef1ce71aa4581958145c86607f2a03b30fe086e180fe39.jpg

      Great, important post nonetheless!

      • AKA The Sauce

        LMAO….we should start a group on here for those trying to learn. Create some accountability and encouragement.

        • Quirlygirly

          I need a refresher course..I only learned to code out of necessity and once that was gone..I stopped coding..

          • Darkchloe144

            Same, took A beginners HTML class in college, then the knowledge slipped away right after finals.

        • MissRosé

          I vote yes.

          • AKA The Sauce

            What are you using to learn it?

        • Spicy Kas

          You really should

        • Valerie

          YAS I’m down.

          • AKA The Sauce

            I guess we doing this….what platform we using?

      • MissRosé

        + me. Chile, it took me years to learn how to COPY the html code to create colorful backgrounds on myspace. By the time I was ready, here comes facebook…

        • AKA The Sauce

          I see a support group forming lol

        • Rewind4ThatBehind

          Ahhh I remember the days I used to make money off doing people’s Blackplanet & Myspace pages.

          Those sites with the html code to copy & toy with were god sends.

          • AKA The Sauce

            Lol

          • I used to mess with Black Planet HEAVY!!! and Migente!

          • Valerie

            You’re just well rounded huh?

          • Zil Nabu

            Let me see if I can still find my BlackPlanet page.

        • Yea, I have no interest in this kind of stuff whatsoever, but I see sisters winning and I’m like YES, PROSPER.

      • Brandon Allen

        Don’t feel bad I just googled…

      • Animate

        lol. As someone that has a CS degree don’t try to keep up with it all. Find yoru niche area that interests you and go for it. If you learn one language you can pretty much learn any language. They all behave in almost the same ways with different syntax. I’m (slowly) learning javascript currently.

      • Valerie

        LMAO stick to the language you know and get great at it. You’ll start to see some of the languages are similar in some aspects.

      • haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      • NonyaB?

        Aww, DarkChloe, don’t be put off! For web based: Think of it as HTML and CSS being part of the foundation and other languages for getting more fancy like adding doors and windows, then adding irregular trim to them windows to get fancy.

    • MsSula

      Python is an easy and mostly free language as well. And google uses it so it is pretty dope. Python.org has some pretty easy and fun tutorials.

      Just understanding algorithms should be enough to code in any language. I have worked with several languages although mostly C#. When you unserstand the logic any new language is easy to learn. Once you become a solution architect you have to be language agnostic anyways.

  • Janelle Doe

    This is a good post.
    Also ShoutOut Kimberly Bryant

  • Glo

    This is so important. I work in tech (specifically in the Silicon Valley), and so few people out here look like me. I can’t wait to see the force that this next generation of black girls will become.

    • Cool! Do what you can, and figure out a way to keep women and POC around!

      • Glo

        I actually work in diversity hiring, so that is literally my job. :)

    • My bro works for Google in the Valley as well and complains he’s the only black guy he sees at work.

      • Zil Nabu

        2 weeks ago I was in a meeting with almost 20 people. I was the only woman in the room. It’s ridiculous in tech.

        • And tech’s big problem is that it doesn’t want to admit that it’s a systemic problem. If their lack of diversity is the produce of their recruitment process, then their recruitment process is discriminatory.

          • Zil Nabu

            They keep claiming it’s a pipeline problem, but that is overly simplistic. That is not to say that the pipeline doesn’t need a ton of work, but that is not the sole reason why there are so few of us in tech. I help with university recruiting at my company. There is something wrong when I’m at National Black MBA Association conference and the majority of people on my interview docket aren’t Black.

            • Spicy Kas

              Seriously? I haven’t been in years, but there were almost no yt people when I went.

              • Zil Nabu

                Dude, I would say the career fair is at least 50-60% White, Chinese, Indian, and Hispanic. 2nd and 3rd tier business schools send their students to the conference to find jobs because recruiters don’t go to their schools. They sign up only for the career fair and have absolutely no clue what the conference is for or that companies don’t go there looking for them. A lot of banks and consulting firms just stopped participating because they were getting slammed with resumes from non Black students. After a while it doesn’t make sense to go some place that’s giving you a less accomplished version of the same audience you already see at your tier 1 target schools.

                • Spicy Kas

                  I just went for the parties since I was already employed, but that blows.

                  • Zil Nabu

                    I went my first year in b-school and thought I’d walked into New Delhi.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      I went 2002 and 2003, Nashville and Philly respectively. It was blackity black and lit like you wouldn’t believe

                    • Zil Nabu

                      It’ll be in Philly again this year. I’m going. The parties are still lit (from what I hear). However, the talent that we see is more often than not non Black. I did 14 interviews. 4 of them were with Black candidates, 1 of whom shouldn’t have been allowed in the door.

                    • I’m tempted to ask the story about the one who shouldn’t have been let in. LOL

                    • Hammster

                      So was I @To@disqus_jaQFOkPNbv:disqus . Do tell @zi@zilnabu:disqus

                    • Zil Nabu

                      I honestly try to block it out because it was such a train wreck interview. She was a perfectly sweet girl but her resume didn’t have the level of career advancement or job responsibility that I’d expect for a graduating MBA. Her answers to questions were simplistic. When I asked, “Can you tell me about a time that you had to overcome an obstacle in order achieve a goal?” she told me about how she raised money selling fruit in order to pay for the GMAT exam. Okay, cool you were industrious. But then compare that to another candidate who we did hire (Black woman) to whom I asked the same question. She too mentioned that her challenge was the GMAT, but in terms of getting a good enough score to apply to school. The successful candidate talked about going through a process to pinpoint why she was struggling, realizing it was test anxiety, researching ways to overcome it, and then starting a blog about her GMAT journey in order to help other aspiring applicants. In her case she took a very simple story and structured it in such a way that went far beyond, “I just worked hard.” The fact that she used her journey to not only help herself but also give that learning to others spoke volumes.
                      As for the candidate who shouldn’t have wasted my time, she was so simple and basic that I couldn’t even stretch the interview to a full 30 minutes. She just had nothing of value to contribute even when I turned it over to her for questions. She wasn’t ready for prime time and I have no clue how she made it past the first screen.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      Was she attractive? That can take you pretty far. You are attractive enough to know this from personal experience, though of course it wasn’t necessary in your case. :)

                    • Zil Nabu

                      She was aight. Very plain. It wouldn’t matter to me anyways because women do nothing for me. I have definitely used my looks to my advantage when interviewing. I’m also just an excellent interviewee. I know how to tell people what they want to hear.

                    • Spicy Kas

                      The older you get, the harder that becomes.

                    • Zil Nabu

                      Telling people what they want to hear?

                    • Spicy Kas

                      Yes. One of my mentors got pushed out about 4 years back because he could take play the game with his new boss. When I spoke to him, he literally said he was too old to play the game any longer.

                    • MsSula

                      That is an oft overlooked skill that matters a lot. I always want to make it to the physical interview. Because I have very seldom not been offered a job I physically interviewed for. I am agreat interviewee, and it sure makes a big difference.

                    • Sounds like she needs coaching on her personal brand.

            • I’m in Biotech, and it’s the same ish. Yes, the pipeline has issues, but when people who have the skills suddenly decide to get into business and sales because “it’s a better fit for their skills”, I call BS. There are a lot of racist White people pushing people out. There’s also structural racism where kids are struggling to learn to read and do math in junior high while White ans Adsian kids get the chance to try out their tech skills.

            • It entirely is a pipeline problem to me. I’ve been to the Google campus and spoken with the people who work there. Despite seeming meritocratic, they recruit from the same elite schools. The only reason why my brother (who didn’t go to an elite school) got it was due to doing temp programming work in NYC, distinguishing himself, schmoozing with actual Google employees, helping them out with their work, and then FINALLY- 3 years later- getting and acing an interview.

              • Zil Nabu

                I went to “elite schools” for undergrad and grad school and they make the same claims about pipeline. Google doesn’t only have to recruit from the Stanford, Cal Tech, MIT, Northwestern, U Chicago, Ivies of the world. There is a lot of talent at other schools where you are likely to find a higher concentration of Black talent. They choose not to go where we are.

                • Exactly. Elite does not mean best- it simply means where people of great resources choose to park their wealth. The best of any state or local school can hold their own with the best produced by our Ivies and top public schools.

                  • I learned that going to grad school. There are plenty of bright people at Queens College. It’s just an issue of resources for many of them.

                    • Zil Nabu

                      Companies want the most bang for their buck. There is often a world of difference between the interviews I do with students from a top 15 b-school and those from tier 2 or 3 schools. Not only do top schools invest resources in career prep for their students, they also attract more of the students with the best resumes. Out of all of the people that I put forward to final round interviews only one came from a 2nd tier school. She was phenomenal. However, there was a greater number of impressive candidates from the “elite schools.” Companies can go to Stanford and not necessarily have to get the very best in the class. Even if they get the middle of the road person that candidate is still going to be above and beyond the majority of what they find elsewhere.

                    • News I can use. I didn’t know that there was that dramatic a preparation and resume gap between the elite schools and everyone else. In the biological sciences, going to a top 20 school doesn’t help that much, and can hurt if your resume is mediocre. (The thinking being if you suck when you have all the money in the world, what are you gonna do when you DON’T have resources.) So long as you can publish well, you can go to West Nowheresville State and be at least OK. I went to a little nothing grad school, and the only thing they care about was publications, cites and impact factor. #themoreyouknow

                    • Zil Nabu

                      In grad school we prepared for on campus recruiting with programs like Mocktails and Winterview. We practiced everything from walking through our resume in 2 minutes to how to shake hands while balancing food and drink. Elite schools view their students as a reflection of the institution and they spit shine us within an inch of our lives before sending us out in front of companies. We learn how to make small talk and use the same story to answer 4 different types of questions. This is on top of hours of resume, cover letter, and outreach email reviews.
                      The thing is it’s highly unlikely you’ll get into an elite school (at least b-school) with a mediocre resume. You have people who are former Olympians, NFL players (Justin Tuck is currently a 1st year student at Wharton), entrepreneurs, as well as your run of the mill bankers, marketers, salespeople, and consultants. I just don’t see that as much with other schools.

                    • So that’s the secret above and beyond learning about business. It’s one thing to understand accounting and economics, but it’s another to present well enough to so that they’ll let you use what you learned in school. That’s why people pay a grip and a half for that stuff. That and the top notch networks.

                      Grad school in science and engineering is so project based that your description is a whole new world. (Though they are slowly adding programs for interviewing with people and business oriented stuff, your typical grad program in STEM is stone aged compared to what you’ve brought up.) It’s all about can you put this project together that no one else has ever done and get published. It sounds simple, but it’s hard as f*ck, and in the process, you learn how to put together a research project from start to finish and present it. Of course, it means taking years of your life to do something you could do in 3 months once you know what you’re doing, but it’s a necessary skill for the job.

                      I sincerely thank you for spelling it out. WOW…

                    • Resumes are a huge deal. Most people have crappy resumes.

                      If any of y’all need some resume feedback, hit me up.

                    • I went to a low ranked public school and lucked into a fellowship hay gave extensive career prep. Basically- if I get to the interview stage, I’m getting the job. They would acually send me to parties and grade me on my schmoozing ability.

                      I’m so good that I often get mistaken for an extrovert.

                    • Queens College? CUNY up in here!

                      I’m a proud graduate of the College of Staten Island. Go Dolphins!

                    • Hey, it was cheap, and I went there part-time. I spent a grand total of $5k for a Masters degree with thesis. The only reason I didn’t pay for it cash on barrel was that I totaled my car and needed the tuition money for a hooptie. LOL

                • I agree. It’s ultimately connected to Wall Street. They’re only willing to recruit from the same 30 schools fresh out of college, and everyone else has to hustle their way in. In turn, Wall Street and venture capital is only willing to recruit from where they graduated from. All else equal, it’s much easier to sell someone on a company from a Stanford Grad than, say, an Auburn graduate, and forget about going to a directional school or small liberal arts college.

                  • Spicy Kas

                    I only got into Investment Banking because they were desperate for bodies. I caught the tail end of the first tech boom. I didn’t do a summer internship and i was not a full time student. However, I proved my worth by being able to out drink my recruiting team the night before 2nd round interviews. Amazing how stuff shakes out. One year earlier or later and I wouldn’t have made it past first rounds.

                    • MsSula

                      This is how I got into Software Engineering: scholarship albeit partial, small class, hands on projects throughout my college life, and a paid pet project from the director of the program where his best students would be directly hired? Score. It didn’t take much for me to say Yup, I will become a coder if you want me to.

              • Glo

                It’s not just a pipeline problem. There are so many systemic problems that diverse candidates face once they get in the door. These companies need to completely change their interview process if they are serious about diversity.

                The fact that it took your brother so long to get into Google (when he was obviously qualified) is an indication of that. I promise you, there were several recruiters that ran across his resume or LinkedIn profile and disregarded him before one decide to work with him. The pipeline is there, but the process is flawed.

                • Interviews are a bad way to go about hiring someone. Best practices demand a performance task before making the hire, and my brother blew his out the water. Since he was self trained, he approach his coding challenges distinctly different from other applicants.

                  Not bad from a psychology major from Hunter College (Go CUNY!)

                • NonyaB?

                  Tell em. Tech companies keep regurgitating the pipeline bullsh*t to deflect from their retention issues. If they focused on the various factors behind it (several flavours of harassment, discrimination, lack of lateral movement, etc), maybe they’d stop leaking workers like sieves. Glad that the openness of net and workers coming forward with stories and stats is making it harder for companies to hide their inaction on all fronts.

                  You probably already saw this:
                  http://www.kaporcenter.org/tech-leavers/

          • Alessandro De Medici

            There’s a lot more problems in tech industry than people realize.

            – I know a lot of people in the tech industry, way more talented than I’ll probably ever be, who simply can’t get jobs. Especially after a certain age. The tech industry, is predisposed towards outsourcing. Even though there is always stories in the press and in the news that jobs are available, the reality is that it’s lot less so than people would like to believe.
            – Though there is a lot of talk about meritocracy, outside of the engineering departments, most tech companies are poorly managed. Even the giant types like Google. My sis used to do a lot of work with tech companies in Silicon Valley at Wall Street and she could never stop talking about useless a lot of people at the top of tech companies are.
            – Tech companies usually value themselves on being anti-corporate. It’s nearly zealous in it’s nature. I remember I was going to an interview a couple years ago, and my recruiter had to call me like 4-5 times not to wear a suit, to the interview lest I come off as a snob to the teams that would be interviewing me. The flipside to the anti-corporate attitude is a lack of accountability (Uber is not the exception, it just has more money.)

            There’s a lot of problems in the Tech Industry, and it’s far less efficient than we are led to believe, there’s just a lot of money in there, thus the appeal.

            • Glo

              Another tech industry problem that so many “successful” companies actually aren’t profitable. Neflix has never once made a profit and loses hundreds of millions of dollars every year…but it’s valued at $66 billion, and is one of the hottest companies out here.

              • Zil Nabu

                I own Netflix stock. It’s up over $60/share from my cost basis and it hasn’t even been a year.

          • kingpinenut

            tech reflects larger societal trends

        • MsSula

          Story of my life when I was in the US… Especially in Oil&Gas and in Texas. It was Halt and Catch Fire out there for realz.

          Not that it’s any better back home. But that is a WHOLE other post altogether.

          • Zil Nabu

            I have a couple of friends in oil and gas and they say it’s a swinging dyck fest. Money is great but women are easily pushed out of the leadership track.

            • MsSula

              Yup. Dyck measuring contests and peeing farther type environment. The money is good but bwoy you have to be mentally strong and have a good support system. We had all kinds of reasons to meet and drink on Friday nights and compare tales. Black men in the field also had their own kind of heII to deal with… Fun times.

              • Zil Nabu

                An industry run by white men in Houston is the last place I’d want to be as a Black woman. I don’t know how my girls do it.

      • Hammster

        It’s hard. I have a stem degree and almost 10 years of experience but I seem to have a better chance at winning the lottery than getting a call back from Google. I’ve even been referred by the former VP of people operations and still nothing.

        • Zil Nabu

          Google is like a fortress. I interned there the summer between my first and second years of b-school.

        • NonyaB?

          Try networking thru professional and social groups, including on FB. Their employees and staff recruiters stay announcing gigs and encouraging POC to apply because they need to improve diversity. I think it’s most useful when it’s the hiring managers themselves posting because then you’re automatically in direct contact with the person hiring vs recruiting system.

          • Hammster

            Great advice. Thanks

    • Reemo

      Yeah I don’t work in the valley but there definitely aren’t a whole lot of us in the field. I started where I am now and there was a black guy from my school who kinda took me under his wing and a black lady in management so that made me want to work here more.

  • I am pushing (yes, pushing) my daughter into coding. She is 6 and forced loves to use the the Lightbot app and Code Combat. Heck, I am even learning as we use the site together.

    • BlackMamba, Achexual

      Good mom!

    • MsCee

      Coding for Dummies for Kids and also Python for Kids are two of my daughters favorite “mommy and me” times.

      • Thank you for these.

        • Enriquetahstyer


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      • King Beauregard

        Ewwww, Python? I have a real problem with languages that use white space to denote nesting.

        Other than that quibble, high fives aplenty!

        • Hugh Akston

          c’mon on no we already went over this lol

        • MsCee

          I know I know but Python was one of the few that has a program that caters to really young children like my daughter.

    • Glo

      I’m going to make sure my future kids learn how to code, too. They can embrace art/softer skills as much as they want, but I want to make sure they have basic coding skills to fall back on during leaner times.

    • lol

    • Rent

      You just put me on to a positive way to use my kids Kindle fire other than Netflix. Preciate it. He’s hooked in the first ten minutes.

    • HoneyRose

      Check out Microsoft MakeCode. If she likes Minecraft, she can hook it up to Minecraft and use the code to move a little robot Agent around and build stuff for her.

    • Janelle Doe

      It is what I like about Minecraft
      Though I also would like to see the little ones progress beyond that and Scratch.
      Any suggestions anyone for more complex tools (and languages)

  • Zil Nabu

    So happy to see this post! I am all about getting more Black women in tech. You are so right that BCG is about so much more than just coding. Understanding how to build and how to deconstruct is a key to problem solving. It doesn’t matter what your academic interests, this skillset serves a person so well. I hope these ladies make their ways to the halls of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, et al not just as developers, but also as strategists, salespeople, marketers, and more.

    • HoneyRose

      Me too! I work at Microsoft and we could use more of us in the hallways :)

    • Old Head

      Amen. Im tired of being the only POC in the IT Section

  • AKA The Sauce

    For all you real programmers on here…what do you think about this list? I have only worked with HTML & CSS and some Java. But this isn’t my field (yet).

    https://fossbytes.com/5-easiest-programming-languages-beginners/

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Def think you should start with python…closest language to real life english.

      That being said, I often recommend taking a course or something similar to “thinking like a programmer” …when I was switching from Psych to IT, the biggest change I had to deal with is just thinking like a programmer. Thinking in terms of models, user stories, system design etc. If you can master those before programming, life will be so much better for you.

      Also play around with other people’s code from github, especially around software, websites or other things you have interest in, so you can see what steps you need to take to replicate the process, as opposed to taking one of those courses that teach you how to code and gives boring projects to work on.

      • Madam CJ_Skywalker

        Good idea. Maybe that’s where the disconnect came for me, first time around.

        • AKA The Sauce

          Agreed

        • Alessandro De Medici

          The free courses are usually a waste, because they don’t tell you that you have to undergo a completely different approach to building something, especially if you come from a non-engineering background. So most people can pass the classes, but the moment they are left by themselves and have to think their way through a problem, they realize that there is very little they’ve learned.

          Plus, the fact is that most of the time a good chunk of your time as a programmer is spent planning things out. The coding is often the easier part. Getting agreement on what the finished product should look like or how you want users to make use of the final product, is usually the core of development…the other big chunk of time is in testing and debugging.

          Which is why I’m trying to join @Zil and sell, leave the development to all those who have the energy for it lol.

          • AKA The Sauce

            Hmm..this is helpful

      • AKA The Sauce

        Thanks…what made you make the switch and how long did that take you? I’m seriously thinking about making the switch myself.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          I was initially going to go into tech in undergrad, but my dad whose was in the field was having a really bad time. This was before the mobile industry developed, so I did what a Good African kid does, and went into medicine with the hope of going into Psychiatry. Graduated…hated it. And then decided to do some studying on my own and got an MS in IT.

          Took about two years to get a degree.

    • Interesting list. I wouldn’t call C an easy language, but I would call it necessary. Think of learning C as a lot like learning Latin. If you get C, you can get most other computer languages, because every language riffs off of C on some level. Also, go full hardcore and get the K&R book if you wanna do it for a living. It’s like Paid In Full for coding. Seriously.

      • Valerie

        I hate C lol. I stay away from it.

        • Back when I was involved in, um…”alternative” computer coding communities, I was pushed to learn C, and I love it.

    • Reemo

      Start with Python it is the easiest to get setup with to start actually writing code. You can learn a lot of basic concepts in Python.
      Javascript is #5 on the list but I would wait until you have a basic understanding of coding before jumping into it.

      • AKA The Sauce

        Prob why I haven’t finished Java yet. I feel like I’m missing a big foundation.

        • Valerie

          I hate Java. I love JavaScript.

          • Reemo

            I hate Javascript but work in Java most of the day. My hatred stems from writing browser based Javascript though so I know it’s much better now. I just haven’t jumped back into it yet.

            • Valerie

              I hate Java because when I was in school, I could not understand it. So I stay away from it.

              • PinkRose

                That was my first language after basic. Only took me a year to get through it!?

          • Alessandro De Medici

            So much you can do with javascript…almost makes you want to ignore all other ones. When I realized i could use javascript to develop apps for ios and android, I almost wanted to quit everything else.

            • Valerie

              Yes, Javascript is wonderful. I’m working on an app with my buddies.

          • AKA The Sauce

            JavaScript is better. I think I started too hard

            • kingpinenut

              there you go….

        • Reemo

          You can figure out the basics in Java too but Python is usually installed already on many Linux distributions so that’s why I say it’s easier to start there.

    • Valerie

      Fun Ruby for beginners game:
      http://tryruby.org/levels/1/challenges/0

      • AKA The Sauce

        Thanks

    • KeyBrad

      I think the general assembly has free coding classes, its inside Ponce City market.

      https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-experience-design-bootcamp/atlanta

      • AKA The Sauce

        It’s free online but it’s basic. I’ve gone there and it’s like $35 for a beginner class for an hour. It’s a super expensive school

        • KeyBrad

          gotcha

  • MsCee

    As one of only two black women who work in tech for the company I am employed by, I strongly approve this message.

    • Valerie

      We are in the same boat. Such a pretty avi!

      • MsCee

        Thank you!

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      You go, girl!

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