MotherCoders

a tech orientation program designed for moms

Applications for MotherCoders Fall 2014 Opens!

Tina Lee1 Comment

I’m so pleased to announce that applications for our Fall 2014 class are now open!

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As with the pilot, the first step for any mom who’s interested in applying is to fill out our Potential Student Survey, answers to which will enable us to design a program that best meets the need of the next cohort of moms.

MotherCoders -- Potential Student Survey

These survey responses will help us decide important things like where and when to hold classes, how many caregivers to hire, how much scholarship money we need to raise, and what changes we need to make to our curriculum.

Those who are interested in being considered for our Fall 2014 session must complete this survey by **midnight on Sunday, July 13, 2014**.

Please help us spread the word to all the moms you know living in the SF Bay Area who want to get their foot in the tech industry door! They’ll be so happy you did, I promise!

Fall 2014 - New and Improved

We learned a lot from our pilot, and that’s good because that was the whole point for doing it.

Based on those lessons, we’ve made some adjustments to this round -- adjustments that we think will make our classes more fun, effective, and engaging, and our operations more efficient and sustainable.

But before we get into that, here are pieces of our DNA that won’t change:

  • Our Mission: We are committed to creating a more dynamic, sustainable, and inclusive economy by on-ramping moms to careers in technology.

  • Our Program Model: The results from our pilot affirmed the magic in our special sauce: technical skills + contextual/industry knowledge + peer & professional support + on-site childcare. With one graduate, Sarah Doczy, already working as a junior web developer at Sephora(!!!), and all the other pilot moms fired up about technology and working on more advanced courses on their own, we're bent on taking the "don't fix something that ain't broke" approach for now.

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However, so that MotherCoders may continue doing this work -- and do it successfully, below are things that will be different for the next class:

  • Cost of attendance: The cost will be $1,500 for moms who don’t need childcare and $2,000 who do. This money will be used to offset the actual cost of attendance, which averages out to approximately $2,600 per student. We will be raising funds to make up the difference and provide scholarships to help moms who demonstrate financial need.

  • Class size: We've expanded the number of students from 6 to 10 for our next cohort. Because we do lots of workshops, pair-shares, and break-outs, we think this will make the classes more fun and interesting, not to mention provide opportunity for more moms to participate in our program.

  • Class duration: We’ve increased the number of classes from 6 to 8. Like the pilot, classes will take place once per week. There will be no class between Week 4 and Week 5 to give the moms a break.

  • Curriculum: In addition to offering a more refined and updated curriculum, specific days will now be dedicated to website building. We found in the pilot that the switch from lecture or workshop mode during the morning to a programming mode in the afternoon was very difficult for students. That by the time everyone got into the flow, we’d have to pack up and go. Worse yet, it was difficult for our moms to carve out a block of time to get back to it once they left our class -- a safe, nurturing, and dedicated space they needed for this type of skill-building. To mix things up on these ‘build’ days, we’ll add group design reviews and maybe even some pair programming and student-led coding workshops (because the best way to learn is to teach). We’re also building in more time for socializing and peer networking, as I underestimated (by a lot) how important that was to the moms last time -- the camaraderie between kindred spirits who had finally found their tribe.

  • Guest Speakers: The women who came to speak to our pilot class were phenomenal. While we’d like to have all of them back, I’m not sure they'll be able to make it. But don’t worry because there’s a pool of awesome women working in tech who are totally down for the cause.

Lastly, depending on how things shake out with the answers we get back from the potential student survey, these are things that may or may not change:

  • Program Location: NextSpace Potrero Hill is hands-down the best place to run this class: their on-site childcare facility, NextKids, their beautiful office space, the first-rate women behind the operation whom I now consider sister friends. Our pilot couldn't have happened without them and their support. However, if we find that a majority of the moms accepted into our next cohort live outside of San Francisco, we might have to reconsider. Likewise if the kids who need care are older than 36 months because the NextKids care-space is only set up for those that are 3-36 months.

  • Program Time: We ran classes on Saturday from 9:30am-3:30pm for the pilot so that we could accommodate working moms. This won’t change unless we find that moms in our next cohort prefer a weekday class.

I know in my heart that we’re onto something special here. I hope you'll share this news with all the moms you know -- and even apply yourself if you're a mom living in the SF Bay Area. But hurry because you must complete this survey no later than **midnight Sunday, July 13, 2014** if you'd like to be considered.

As usual, please feel free to email me at tina@mothercoders.org or tweet me at @mstinalee if you've got questions.

Cheers,

Tina