There is a common misperception in the media, popular culture, and schools that coding is only for nerds who are good at math and that it is really only for boys. This is even seen in the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory – all the boys are smart, whereas Penny is sort of a ditz. Made With Cod – a company owned and managed by Google – is trying to change that misperception, one project at a time.
Made With Code was started by Google because they noticed that less than 1% of high school-aged girls express an interest in Computer Science, either as a college major or as something useful to know. And Google thought “Hey! People who create technology should reflect the diversity of its users!” Both boys and girls use technology – is it even possible to exist without computers and iPhones? – so why not encourage more girls to take an interest in coding. In today’s world, even if you don’t major in Computer Science in college, coding and knowing your way around computers is a great skill to have, and will make your resume stand out.
So what is Made With Code trying to do? They have 3 major goals:
1. Inspire girls by sharing stories of girls who code
2. Provide easy ramps to learn coding
3. Sustain girls’ interest by developing and supporting the ecosystem necessary to keep girls coding
With goal #1, Made With Code is trying to inspire girls to like coding and realize that coding is for everyone, not just the mathletes and the boys.
Made With Code also provides ways to make coding fun. It is not necessarily the place you go to learn coding (Khan Academy and Codecadamy are just some of the other websites you can use to learn coding), but it is the place you go to keep coding exciting. One way Made With Code keeps girls interested in coding is by having them code bracelets that can say whatever you want; Made With Code will then 3D print your bracelet and send it to you!
Made With Code is not alone, either. Over 15 different companies and non-profits/NGOs are supporters of this initiative. Several of them are:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Black Girls Code
Girls Who Code
Teach for America
National Coalition of Girls’ Schools
For a complete list of supporters and to learn more about Made With Code and why it’s important for girls to learn how to code, please visit the Made With Code website at: www.madewithcode.org