TECH

How To Break Into Code: For Women, By Women

22/03/2016 17:48 GMT

The issue of gender diversity within the tech industry is one that has, over the past 18 months, become one of the driving forces in creating better equality within the STEM industries.

The Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in London is just one of a wave of events which are looking to inspire and connect women within the industry while helping those trying to break into it.

Women of Silicon Roundabout

Speaking at a panel designed to give tips on how to break into the world of coding were some of the industry's best developers, engineers and coders working across multiple industries from Rockstar Games to the Financial Times.

Here are some top tips and wise words from those experts:

Timea Tabori - Engineer Programmer Rockstar North

"A lot has changed [compared to the past], even when I was growing up I was passionate but in High School my computing teacher told me that he didn't know how to teach me programming."

"It has definitely become so much easier to start learning though. It's just a Google search away and a myriad of resources will jump out at you, there's Code Academy, code.org."

"We have to do a better job of highlighting the thrill of programming, it's about letting them know it's everywhere - it's in fashion, everything. I think a lot of women don't realise the conventional topics can still require technology."

"Our only job in passing on the enthusiasm we have is starting that interest in children. Talking to children and showing them what it can do, that your phone is not a magic mirror, it’s actually something you can control! If we don’t teach the next generation we’re going to lose our authority over technology."

Gabriela Botea - Software Engineer Electronic Arts

"We should encourage more women to build their own apps and then that can essentially be their CV."

"That way engineers can see that you have worked in coding and you already have experience, it doesn’t matter if you have a degree or not."

"If you’re really at the beginning and don’t know where to look for you probably won’t know what to Google for. It’s best to have ideas of places where you'd like to work and then speaking to universities or course leaders who can then advise you."

Siwei Kang - Front-End Developer Skyscanner

"It doesn’t matter how bad you were at school, you just need to have a sense of curiosity."

"Coding is a very social event, you’re not just coding for yourself, you’re coding with a group of people."

Adobe
Apps like Adobe XD can help anyone create a basic app interface with minimal coding experience.

"To try and get more girls working in the tech industry you need to get them to experience how exciting it is. When you launch your first feature the first thing you do is call your parents and say ‘Go to this URL, look at this little widget!’"

Sarah Wells - Principal Engineer Financial Times

You really need support, someone there who can answer questions for you otherwise without them it can become quite disheartening.

Knowing a [coding] language helps.

Things that are more important are logical thinking, clarity of communication and being open to collaboration because there’s a good chance that in two years time you’ll be using a completely different language. 

ILMxLAB
A career in coding could have you building the latest virtual reality environments. 

You certainly won’t be using the language you learned at university because they’re always at least three years behind.

Too many women get a degree, get their first job in programming and then find it overwhelming.

You should judge us [a company] on how many women we have at different levels and not on all those who come in at a junior level and then leave because they find it too overwhelming.

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today. Through features, video and blogs, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you’d like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com with a summary of who you are and what you’d like to blog about.