Posted in Intern advice, Written by Maddie

My experience with Django Girls

If there is one thing I am incapable of doing, that is understanding science of any kind. Ever since I was little I had an inclination for humanities and social sciences and despised anything that involved numbers. So it happened that in high school I focused mostly on languages and now at university I study politics and international relations. No numbers, no calculations so I am safe. Or so I thought….

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Being focused on one area is great, especially is it is something you really enjoy doing, but being a well rounded individual is also something we should aim for. Even if you think you don’t like something, how do you know for sure if you haven’t even tried it out?

That was exactly what went through my mind when I decided to sign up for a coding beginners class. For the record, I haven’t done anything related to coding in my entire life but here I was, deciding I should give it a go.

So I went! On a Saturday morning at 9 am I went down to the location where the Django Girls workshop was about to begin. We were told that by the end of the day we will build a website. On our own! Seemed a task impossible to achieve give my level of skills.

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The Django Girls project is an initiative going on all over the world with the aim to help women learn a coding language and enter a field mostly dominated by men. The workshops are ran by volunteers that support Django Girls’ mission and all the information and materials they need in order to organise a successful event are available on the Django Girls website. In order to participate you don’t have to have any knowledge of programming (ahem… that’s how I got in) but you must have a desire to learn a new skill and meet some amazing people.

The feature of the workshop I enjoyed the most was the fact that you are paired up with another participant and together are assigned a coach who walks you through the whole tutorial and is there to encourage you throughout the day. This was incredibly useful for me, as it helped me understand what exactly I was doing and give me the freedom to ask any questions that went through my mind.

You might have guessed by now that by the end of the workshop I did manage to build the website and was I proud of myself! Oh yes! Mostly because I never thought the phrase “build a website” and “me” would ever be put together.

So if you are like me and never thought that anything non-social science is for you, you might want to give this workshop a try and see how it goes. It is an amazing opportunity to discover a new community in Sheffield and be introduced to a new skill that might turn into a passion, who knows? The events happen multiple times per year and the best part is that if you enjoy being a participant, then you can go on and organise a workshop yourself in Sheffield or in your home city. Django Girls welcomes everyone who wants to spread the message and support the initiative. If you are curious to find out more have a look here: https://djangogirls.org/

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Author:

We are 301 Student Skills and Development Centre and we give academic skills advice to our students at the University of Sheffield. We offer workshops and 1:1 appointments.

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