The Boston chapter of Girl Develop It, a nationwide nonprofit that aims to help adult women acquire valuable technical skills, is hosting its October evening series at Carbonite headquarters in Boston. With 63 chapters across the US, Girl Develop It was founded in 2010 in New York City by two female engineers who were inspired to action by the great gender divide that exists in the worlds of engineering and software development.
“The founders wanted to close that gender gap, and get more women into technology,” said Maura Oray, Girl Develop IT Boston chapter co-chair. “And a really good way to do that is to offer classes that are heavily subsidized, taught by women, in classes where you are surrounded by women.
“They also wanted to tap into the population that already has a college degree—but aren’t looking to go back to school.” Oray noted that Girl Develop It classes are open to anyone but that about 90 percent of the participants identify as female, and that helps to create a supportive environment. Today Girl Develop It claims close to 60,000 members with an average class cost of $54. The organization is sponsored by companies like Carbonite, who host Girl Develop It classes at their corporate offices after regular business hours.
Currently an MBA student at Brandeis University specializing in data analytics and information technology, Oray discovered Girl Develop It when searching for classes for women who wanted to learn more about software or web development. Oray said she’s typical of many of the group’s members. “I am pretty much all self-taught when it comes to programming,” explained Oray. “I was working at the time, and I wanted to take a class, in person, because I thought it would give me more accountability. I also wanted an inclusive environment.”
The Boston chapter of Girl Develop It hosts Code & Coffee sessions monthly, with guest speakers and topics such as Introduction to DevOps. The Girl Develop It Carbonite-hosted October series is titled Intro to App Building with Salesforce. Attendees will cover these topics over three evenings:
- What is Salesforce—and what are the career opportunities for Salesforce admins and developers?
- App-building concepts including data modeling, user interfaces, business logic, reports, dashboards and mobile.
- Hands-on guided project building to build a sample app in one day.
Girl Develop It was among the first group of organizations the Carbonite Charitable Fund chose to partner with at its 2017 launch. Norman Guadagno, Carbonite’s senior vice president of marketing, addressed the Girl Develop It attendees to talk about the importance of partnering with nonprofits whose values align with Carbonite’s.
“We’re committed to supporting equity and equality throughout our industry,” said Guadagno. “That means providing resources where we can to empower underserved and underrepresented communities, the way Girl Develop It does. It’s our view that our company, our employees, our products, our customers, our partners—are all better served when we draw on the widest pool of talent possible.”