Demo Day: School Science Fair for Moms Learning to Code

MotherCoders_Demo_Day2017

We’re hosting Demo Day this Saturday, February 25, 2017, from 10am-12:30pm at Google in SF, a regular event we organize to showcase MotherCoders grads. Community members and supporters will have a chance to see the products our moms built, and learn about how MotherCoders contributes to diversity and inclusion in tech.

Sharing our successes with our supporters is important. But, Demo Day is also a great opportunity for our graduates to experience what shipping software feels like. Planning and goal-setting, building and iterating, along with the thrashing and terror / excitement of presenting your work to strangers, is valuable. Demo Day as an event enables our grads to pick up a critical skill mandatory for a successful career in tech: shipping code, even if an MVP is all you’ve got.

Yes, it’s terrifying.

Coding in Context

Yet we know it’s never about code alone. Yes, it’s great that one can learn enough French (or Mandarin, or Swahili or ...) on your own to order escargot at your local French restaurant. What’s even better is actually visiting France, talking with French people,  eating French food, and experiencing French culture.

Put another way: MotherCoders is big on context. That’s why our curriculum and approach to preparing moms for careers in tech goes beyond syntax. Each class ends with a field trip to a tech company to hang out with an actual tech team.

We live in a world where the solution to almost any problem will contain a technical element, even if your goal is to trade your homemade organic kombucha scobies for a couple boxes of 100-count Lipton tea bags. (Serious.) So, we want our students to see technology through the lens of human needs, and coding as a literacy that opens the door to a world of opportunity to fill them, not an end goal in and of itself.

Code. Community. Childcare.

Among the challenges women with kids face in learning to code and breaking into tech, isolation from being time poor is a major one. Given the demands of parenthood, who has free time for regular evening meet ups and weekend long workshops? That’s why MotherCoders is an in-person program focused on fostering community and belonging. The social bonds developed between between our moms and the industry experts we engage help promote accountability, mutual support, and mentorship -- vital parts of long-term success.

Over the past 3 years we’ve helped 34 moms secure a stronger foothold in the digital economy, for themselves and their families. This is what that success represents:

  • We’ve put a STEM role model into 34 homes, affecting over 50 children.
  • We’ve launched 9 entrepreneurs, 5 of which are building tech-focused businesses.
  • We’ve provided 19 organizations with talented women, individuals with college degrees and valuable work experience who are actively contributing to innovation.

MotherCoders does a solid job removing the barriers that keep moms from advancing toward careers in tech. However, that doesn't mean the road is easy. Getting to Demo Day took grit and resilience, and we’re so proud of our moms for what they've accomplished. To ensure they get the most from this experience and proceed into the world with confidence, we hope to be cheering them on alongside you at Demo Day. Like kids at the school science fair, it makes a huge difference knowing there's a community of people supporting you.