Before you read on:
I am proud to present the founding of PyLadiesSF, the San Francisco/Bay Area chapter of PyLadies, a global mentorship group for women in the Python community. Our mission is to promote, educate, and advance women in the field of engineering who love (or loathe…) Python.
We will have monthly events, ranging from all group hack nights to various experience level bootcamps to weekly study groups. We have folks who want to learn programming, who use Python as a hobby, or develop in Python. Ladies coming from a different language, a scientific & academic background, or making a career transition. It’s so fantastic to see these women so excited about learning and about making PyLadiesSF and every PyLady succeed.
I’ve had many folks, women and men, approach me asking how they can help out. What surprises me the most is someone hasn’t done this before; why no SF chapter until now? We’re Silicon Valley! But I am so excited to be a part of this, to bring the Python community together in a big wave of support for women. I found that folks in the Python community, in the CS/engineering community as a whole, recognizes that there is an imbalance of gender.
It is partly a great thing because it is very easy to find resources to help women learn and grow. But it’s also unfortunate because no one puts an active effort towards advancing women. The ladies I’ve met and worked with are extremely enthusiastic about learning. It’s certainly difficult to pursue such an endeavor; coding is hard! But it’s a lot easier to ask those “stupid”, naive questions in a non-competitive environment.
Kaitlyn Trigger of Lovestagram had a great metaphor for programming:
How in the h&ll do you get from step 1 to step 2? Either a magic wand, or you are a carpenter by nature. Similar with engineering: talk to development folks, ask for a product and it magically appears all constructed. I had a hard time grasping how a for loop, classes, and methods can turn into an architecture for a cloud fileshare system, or a social networking site, or even a simple greedy change calculator. I found that having someone that also comes from this “what is this wizardry?!” point of view helps break down the steps to actually create a meaningful program. Enter: ME! I invite anyone who has an interest in Python to come check us out.