18 Sep Women Who Code Dallas Experiences Rapid Growth
2015 marks a year of rapid growth for Women Who Code Dallas, a professional community for area women in tech and a local network of the global organization Women Who Code.The network recently surpassed the 500-member mark, rounding out a diverse community of developers, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs, as well as women interested in pursuing a tech career. Women Who Code Dallas has been active in the area for since late 2013 but has recently seen acceleration in new member participation and active involvement. So far in 2015, membership has grown by 41%.
To better reach its members spread across the Dallas metroplex, Women Who Code Dallas expanded its monthly meetups to include locations in downtown Dallas at West End coworking space The Grove and in Denton at software and web development company GSATi. The network has one existing meetup in north Dallas at nōd Coworking. Meetups feature lightning talks by tech industry experts, as well as time for networking.
“The rapid growth of Women Who Code Dallas reflects a strong demand for community and professional skill development among Dallas women in tech,” said Carole Bennett, director of the Women Who Code Dallas network. “Downtown Dallas and Denton are widely considered emerging tech hotspots in the region, and monthly Women Who Code meetups serving these communities will only help to bolster the tech talent and innovation here in North Texas—especially as more women ‘lean in’.”
Cheryl Hartman is taking the helm as Denton meetup organizer, at a time when she’s also stepping back into her career as a software developer after time off to spend with her family. Likewise, organizers for the downtown Dallas meetup, Angela Landrith and Robyn Brown, see the benefit of giving female developers access to more technical resources that help them advance in their careers.
“Right now, we’re seeing the barrier to entry for learning computer programming continue to get slimmer. Considering our changing economy and the evolving nature of jobs today, it seems right on time to help many women expand their tech skillsets,” said Brown, whose non-profit organization Bold Idea also sponsors the meetup. Bold Idea mentors Dallas-area K-12 students to make an impact in their community using code.
Recently added program is aimed at helping Women Who Code Dallas members gain new skills in coding and hone existing skills for professional advancement, and foster environments where networking and mentorship are valued. On Sept. 19, Women Who Code Dallas will kick off the first class in its free Coding Skills Workshop Series that includes instruction and hands-on experience in Java, user interface (UI) development, frameworks including node.js and Ruby on Rails, databases and web applications. Women interested in joining Women Who Code Dallas, attending a monthly meetup and learning more about the network’s professional development opportunities can visit: http://www.meetup.com/Women-Who-Code-Dallas/.