Ladies Learning Code workshop targets growing interest in programming

A group of aspiring programmers gathered in Halifax this weekend to work on honing skills at an event aiming to encourage more women to learn the latest technologies.

About 30 people took part in a six-hour workshop on responsive design

The Ladies Learning Code workshops are designed to help people with a variety of skill levels learn new technologies, organizers say. (Submitted by Mala Kalra)

A group of programmers and aspiring programmers gathered in Halifax this weekend to work on web design skills at an event aimed to encourage more women to learn the latest technologies.

The workshop was the second Ladies Learning Code event to be held in the city. About 30 people took part in Saturday's six-hour session. 

Mala Kalra, one of the heads of the organization's Halifax chapter, says interest in coding among women is growing. 

Co-leads for the Halifax chapter of Ladies Learning Code from left to right: Jennifer Liu, Mala Kalra and Christopher Kolmatycki. (Submitted by Mala Kalra )

"We have all these great ideas to do things better and in a newer way… and technology definitely helps us put those ideas into a platform and put it in front of people and display it in the best possible way," she said. 

Kalra said the group wanted to offer a workshop for people who want to learn code and might not have time to enrol in a full course. 

The session wasn't gender-specific, Kalra said, but about 90 per cent of participants were women. 

It was designed "for big nerds and experts alike" so that even people who just know how to turn on a computer could walk away with a basic understanding of how to create a website that works on a mobile phone, she said. 

"They can have a six-hour session which can take them from scratch to an expert or medium level, to say 'Hey now you're good to go on your own and explore this new technology,'" Kalra said.

"Our motto is to help them understand and learn about responsive design and how to render these applications correctly on mobile and different browsers."

A group of students from Fredericton even travelled to Halifax for the weekend to try to adapt their website, she said. 

The group's next goal is to set up a similar program for teenagers over the summer break. 

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