by Elyse Wild | photos courtesy of Django Girls Grand Rapids
This weekend, dozens of women will be camped out at 40 Pearl St. NW, working furiously under the tutelage of coaches while they build what for them will be a monumental first: a website.
Django Girls Grand Rapids returns with their second workshop, designed to introduce women in West Michigan to the basics of programming. International nonprofit Django Girls operates under the mission of bringing more women into tech industries through volunteer-run courses in which participants are supported by mentors as they learn programming languages Python, Django, HTML and CSS.
The workshop kicks off Friday, March 9, from 6-9 p.m., during which participants are welcomed by coaches, meet their team and set up their computers up. Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to5 p.m., students dive into the tutorial while listening to guest speakers and enjoying refreshments provided by Django Girls Grand Rapids.
Rachell Calhoun, core member of Django Girls International and co-founder of Django Girls Grand Rapids, emphasizes that while attendees are gaining new, valuable skills for their careers, the weekend serves to motivate women to embrace the power of learning and support each other as they step into the unknown.
“I love the community aspect,” said Calhoun expressed. “It’s so encouraging, supportive and empowering.”
Workshops are free and open to women, LGBTQ+ individuals, POC and members of other under-represented groups over the age of 18. Although applications have closed, Django Girls Grand Rapids encourages those interested to join PyLadies GR, an affiliated organization that meets year round to support women programmers and developers.