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First Time Coaching at the Django Girls Workshop

Posted in Python, Web-Development, Tech-Events, Django

On January 19, I was given the opportunity to coach for the third Django Girls Workshop in Cagayan de Oro. As an active supporter of women empowerment and #WomenInTech initiatives, I offered to volunteer and teach women and girls who are enthused in coding but has little to no knowledge in it.

Fifty-three (53) girls sign up from all over Mindanao—few of them were already knowledgeable in programming— were chosen to participate in the workshop. It was my second time joining an all-women event, and the first time to speak and coach in one. The experience was surreal, as I was really excited to teach basics in Python programming and introduce one of its common framework for web development—Django.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

Django developers have increased recently, driven by the growth of the Python programming language. I was introduced to Python three (3) years ago, and I haven’t stopped learning and developing cools projects from it.

I was introduced to Python three (3) years ago, and I haven’t stopped learning and developing cools projects from it.

On the workshop, I was tasked to coach Joy, a developer with C as her language of choice. I followed the Django Girls tutorial, which is readily available online as guide for the coaching. At first, she has no idea on the basics of Python. But after introducing her on the basic semantics, syntaxes, and usage, she immediately learned simple Python programming.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

The task was to develop a simple blogging application, which includes core functionalities such as adding, deleting, editing, and viewing blog posts. Following the Model-View-Framework (MVC) paradigm was challenging for first-time Django developers like Joy, so I had to explain how the paradigm works before developing the blog application.

Following the Model-View-Framework (MVC) paradigm was challenging for first-time Django developers like Joy, so I had to explain how the paradigm works before developing the blog application.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

After five (5) hours of writing code, Joy was able to create her own Django-powered blog website. It includes the complete functionalities a blog should have. She hosted her blog on Python Everywhere, and also pushed her code on GitHub, also her first time using the said platform.

I only had access to a computer when I was in high school, as I was living in a rural community with little access to internet connectivity.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

As a graduating Computer Science student myself, I could see Joy in my shoes back when I started programming five (5) years ago. I only had access to a computer when I was in high school, as I was living in a rural community with little access to internet connectivity. I felt very happy after seeing Joy being able to complete the tutorial and being able to finish the blog web application herself. Is this a sign of a career shift? From being a software developer to being an educator? Let’s see.

I felt very happy after seeing Joy being able to complete the tutorial and being able to finish the blog web application herself.

I’m glad that I was part of an initiative the aims to increase women participation in technology and choose careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). I’m challenged to participate on this cause as I saw how less women are participating in STEM. In my college, for example, will be only having one (1) woman graduate in March.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop

It’s still a long way to go but I believe that through the continual process of fostering and building women communities in tech, there will be an increase of women participation in STEM. Django Girls, Women Who Code, and Syntactics Pink, are big wins in the #WomenInTech landscape in Cagayan de Oro. Also, I’m hoping that there will be all-women coaches in the next Django Girls CDO workshop.

Third Django Girls CDO Workshop Sponsors

The third Django Girls CDO workshop will not be possible without our sponsors from Python Software Foundation, Python PH, Misfit Inc, Rushmedia Solutions and Innovuze Solutions Inc. The third Django Girls CDO workshop is also thankful for DICT Region 10 for hosting and sponsoring our venue.


Photos courtesy of Django Girls CDO. Logo trademarks are owned by their specific owners.

Hi! My name is Marc and I'm a student developer from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, and building interfaces and developing Machine Learning and AI applications for various causes are some of my skills as an up-and-coming developer. I'm also occasionally invited to speak at tech conferences to share my knowledge and experiences as a budding front end web developer-turned-data scientist.

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