Local Organization for Women in Technology Celebrates 1,000 Members

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Girl Develop It (GDI) launched in 2010 with a simple concept: make software development accessible and affordable to all women in New York City with little to no development or training experience. The Raleigh-Durham Chapter, one of more than 50 in cities around the world, launched in November 2012, with just 41 members. Since its launch, it has gained over 1,000 members, a growth of over 2400%! This amazing rate of growth has been largely due to word of mouth and social media, demonstrating the enormous demand for the services and support that GDI provides.

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The chapter has offered over 26 classes covering topics like HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Javascript, jQuery, Angular JS, User Experience, and Public Speaking. It has also hosted 20 Code + Coffee events, 8 free workshops covering topics like Salary Negotiation, SASS, Git, Linux, and Web Accessibility.

The chapter is run by four co-leaders on a volunteer basis, Basia Coulter, UI Designer at NCSU, Julia Elman, author of the recently published O’Reilly book ‘Lightweight Django’, Sarah Kahn, Sr. UX Designer at Deutsche Bank, and Sylvia Richardson, Web Accessibility Advisor at BCBS of North Carolina.

Sarah Kahn says that co-leading the chapter is rewarding and supportive: ‘I joined as co-leader a little over a year ago, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. GDI is one of the most rewarding organizations I've ever been involved with. The leadership around the country is extremely supportive. Every time I hear from a student how we've made their life better, it makes all the work worthwhile.’, Sarah said.

She also mentioned that two recent hires at her company are GDI alumna, including Melissa Lyon, who created an infographic to celebrate the anniversary, which was presented at the recent Snow and Tell event. The infographic is available here: http://imgur.com/3LLAjvO

Girl Develop It RDU is planning some exciting classes in the new year, including an introduction to Python, a programming language, and a series of classes on building websites.

The chapter has forged partnerships with area businesses like the American Tobacco Campus, Bronto, Spoonflower, Centerline Digital, Matrix Resources, IBM, WebAssign, and many more, providing resources like space to hold classes, support for our scholarship fund, and career opportunities for our members.

“It’s truly amazing to see the amount of support that our local community has given our chapter,” says founding leadership Julia Elman,”With very little marketing we’ve received financial contributions towards hosting events and been given free classroom space. It truly is an honor to be able to provide this service inside such a giving community.”

The massive growth of the chapter is projected to help women around the triangle and beyond enhance their skill sets, illuminate their passions or hobbies to make beautiful code and websites, and spread the principles of effective software development.

About Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It is an international organization that exists to provide affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction. Our vision is to create a network of empowered women who feel confident in their abilities to code and build beautiful web and mobile applications. By teaching women around the world from diverse backgrounds to learn software development, we can help women improve their careers and confidence in their everyday lives. Founded by female software developers Sara Chipps and Vanessa Hurst, the national organization currently has chapters in over 50 cities in the U.S. and Ottawa, Canada, including a recently launched chapter in Charlotte, NC. For more information on how to get involved in your local area, go to http://www.girldevelopit.com/. ! http://www.girldevelopit.com/chapters/raleigh-durham | @gdirdu | rdu@girldevelopit.com