Volunteering for BitCamp GR
I believe volunteering to be one of the best ways to be involved in the community, while also giving back at the same time. Over the past eight years, I have volunteered and organized at GLSEC, Barcamp GR, GiveCamp GR, and Design for Good WM.
This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer at BitCamp GR. BitCamp is a day-long, hands-on workshop to introduce young girls to software development. The idea is to teach them how to program in a fun, inviting environment while also dispelling common myths about software development, such as “only boys code”, “who wants to sit in a dark room on a computer all day?”, and “it is only done by geeks and nerds”.
Despite all of my past involvement with events around West Michigan, none of them have afforded me such a unique look as what it means to contribute to the community in such an intimate way. Being able to teach these young girls about programming and also stand as proof that you can be a successful women in programming was an amazing experience and privilege. It was an absolute joy watching these girls create unique webpages on an array of amazing topics (types of home structures, castles and keeps, marching band, and more!) and their unwavering focus as they built up the HTML elements and CSS rules to their exact specifications.
Bitcamp is offering a solution to the absence of women in STEM fields. Reaching out to young girls and teaching them how to program and discover all they are able to do with code continues to open doors for more and more girls to enter STEM fields, ultimately bringing more diversity into the technical community.
Collective Idea is planning on hosting a BitCamp in the fall. We’ll post more information here on our blog or on our Facebook page about when that exact date will be. We are very excited to continue our involvement!