In a world driven by technology, the gender gap in the tech industry remains a persistent challenge. The city of Aba took a historic step towards shattering this glass ceiling with the first-ever Django Girls workshop, organized by the Python Abia Community and proudly sponsored by the Python Software Foundation and Ashpot. This transformative two-day event, held on the 12th and 13th of October 2023, aimed to empower and inspire young girls to embrace the world of web development and break the cycle of gender disparity in the tech realm.
Django, first and foremost, is a popular Python framework for building websites. A Django Girls Workshop is a part of the Django Girls organization, a global community that is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the world of technology and programming. These workshops are designed to provide women, and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, with a supportive and encouraging environment to learn the fundamentals of web development and programming.
The event is meant to bring about and encourage
1. Inclusive Learning Environment: Django Girls Workshops are open to all, but they prioritize providing opportunities for women and underrepresented individuals who may not have had prior exposure to programming. The workshops are intentionally welcoming and safe spaces, making them accessible to people from various backgrounds.
2. Hands-On Learning: Participants are introduced to web development from scratch. They learn how to create web applications using Python, Django, HTML, and CSS. The learning process is interactive, with practical coding exercises that help attendees build real, functional web projects.
3. Mentorship: Experienced mentors, often volunteers from the tech community, provide one-on-one guidance and support throughout the workshop. These mentors share their knowledge, answer questions, and help participants overcome coding challenges.
4. Encouragement and Empowerment: The primary goal of Django Girls is to empower individuals by demystifying technology. Participants are encouraged to believe that they can be creators in the tech world, fostering self-confidence and a "can-do" attitude.
5. Global Network: Django Girls is a global community with workshops held in cities worldwide. This means that participants become part of a larger network of like-minded individuals who share their interest in technology and programming.
6. Free and Open Access: Most Django Girls Workshops are free of charge, making them accessible to those who might not have the financial means to attend a traditional coding bootcamp or course.
7. Project-Based Learning: The workshops typically culminate in participants building their web applications or websites, which can be a personal blog, portfolio, or other creative projects. This hands-on experience is invaluable for gaining practical skills.
Overall, a Django Girls Workshop is an excellent example of a grassroots initiative that aims to bridge the gender and diversity gap in the tech industry by providing an inclusive and empowering introduction to the world of programming and web development.
Day 1: Installation Party (October 12, 2023) The journey began with an exhilarating installation party on Thursday, October 12th. This prelude was crucial in ensuring the trainees were fully equipped and prepared for the exciting days that lay ahead. The participants, comprising 37 enthusiastic young women and 3 forward-thinking young men, were tasked with downloading the essential tools of the trade. These included an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Visual Studio Code, Git, Python, as well as signing up for accounts on GitHub and PythonAnywhere. By ensuring that these prerequisites were in place the day before, valuable time was saved for what truly mattered - delving into the world of Django web development.
Day 2: The Django Girls Workshop (October 13, 2023) The main event took place on Friday, October 13th, a day filled with promise and potential transformation. An impressive team of 8 coaches, with 2 providing structured instruction and the remaining guiding the trainees individually, set the stage for an enriching experience.
The day began at 8 am with a nourishing breakfast that fostered camaraderie among participants. Tea, puff-puff, and chips were on the menu, creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere for learning.
At 9 am, the workshop officially commenced, featuring an extensive curriculum designed to build a solid foundation in web development. Some of the day's topics included:
The ultimate goal of the workshop was for each participant to create a fully functional blog and make it accessible on the internet. Practical exercises throughout the day ensured that attendees not only understood the concepts but could apply them in real-world scenarios.
Lunch and Photo Sessions: In the midst of this intensive learning experience, participants took a break from 12 pm to 1 pm. During this intermission, they enjoyed a delightful lunch consisting of jollof and fried rice, accompanied by chicken and salad. This break provided not only sustenance but also a chance for participants to socialize and recharge for the rest of the day.
The inaugural Django Girls workshop in Aba was not just an event; it was a transformative experience that has the potential to reshape the tech landscape in the region. With a diverse group of 37 ambitious young women and the support of three young men, the workshop nurtured a learning environment that was not only supportive but also unequivocally inclusive.
The dedication of the eight coaches, the comprehensive curriculum, and the hands-on approach to learning left an indelible mark on all participants. By the end of the workshop, these young women had not only acquired valuable web development skills but also carried with them the belief that there is no place for gender stereotypes in the world of technology.
This event was a resounding success and sets the stage for a brighter and more inclusive future in the tech industry. The Django Girls workshop in Aba is not just a milestone; it is a testament to the potential of women in technology and a giant leap towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive tech world. The event concluded at 6 pm, leaving the participants with newfound knowledge, lasting memories, and the power to shape their own destinies. The journey has just begun, and the impact will be felt for years to come.
The complete photo gallery of the event can be found at: Photo Gallery
To see videos of the event, Watch Youtube Video