July 19, 2019
Summer Camp in cooperation with three of Hamburg’s tech companies
For the second year in a row we held our Summer-Coding Camp. Sixteen young girls spent three days developing their programming skills in three different companies, mostly without any prior experience in coding. The workshops took place this year at Google, XING SE and SHARE NOW. In addition, the junior coders were able to exchange ideas directly with the developers working there and gain insights into various IT professions.
Day 1 at XING SE
Our first day we were at Xing in the Spielbudenplatz room, with direct access to a beautiful roof terrace overlooking our Elphi (Elbphilharmonie).
Margarita Esau, researcher from Uni Siegen with focus on IT-Security and Consumer Information Systems, gave the girls an introduction into Dialogue Flow and very soon they were working in groups on a speech-assistant at would assist in finding out if a fish is still fresh.
In the beginning the girls did not programme anything. Instead they worked with Post-its in classic IT manner.
The individual approaches were then presented in a group round, which crystallised the vast differences between them.
After the lunch break, we continued with Peter Friese from Google, who showed the girls how to implement the dialogues they had built using programming techniques and what problems one will often encounter.
In between, the girls had the chance to get to know Angela Kapdan, Project Owner at XING, to learn a little about the platform and how they can use Xing to their advantage.
Later, during the dialogue flow programming, there was absolute silence. Everyone worked in concentration on their own “Is my fish fresh?” speech-assistant.
The concentration was briefly interrupted for a role model talk, where the girls got an insight into the career possibilities and the variety of departments at XING.
The programming continued, and in the end ambition came into play when some of the speech-assistants were introduced. The girls very clearly showed once again, that there is no one right solution to a problem, but several different ones. The challenge is finding the most elegant.
Day 2 at Google
On the second Day we continued at Google Headquarters in Hamburg. This is also where our introduction to App-Inventor, a block programming language developed by MIT, began. The workshop was led by our young programmers Hannah and Alexandra , and supported by Matthias Kim, as well as numerous Google employees.
The object was to write a few small apps, which you could then test on your mobile phone. Here for example a ‘Catch the Mole’ app was built, with a score counter and restart button.
Of course, the girls also got creative and used other pictures instead of the mole, or implemented other sounds for when the mole is caught. After lunch in Google’s canteen we had an office tour and we took the chance to revisit some places from last year.
Thanks to the snack bar we were never lacking in energy, so we continued to work hard.
In between programming there was a Role Model Talk, but it turned into more of a conversation where all the Google employees who were there to help answered questions. There were also two employees who were connected to us via video conference. The girls were able to gain an insight into a programmer’s daily work as well as into the decision process of why people wanted to study IT and asked a lot of questions. After another programming session we had to say goodbye and go home.
Day 3 at SHARE NOW
Our last day took place at Share Now in their office directly at the Elbe. This day, we continued to work with the App-Inventor and the girls worked individually on projects. We worked on different ideas, own creations as well as replicas of tutorials.
In between there was pizza with integrated role model talk about the development of apps at Share Now.
And a short introduction to the concept of the company.
When the sticker box was discovered, everything was over for some computers. Obviously, you have to be able to tell that they are programmers.
At the end of the day, the girls were given the opportunity to present their apps to the Share Now team. From a calendar app, which organizes appointments with friends, to a plant watering reminder app, to a grade point average calculator, everything was there.
Apparently, the whole Share Now team took a break for our girls, because they all wanted to see the results of that day!
And just as soon as it had started, the coding camp was over. We had an action-packed three days during which the girls learned a lot more than they d previously imagined. The girls creativity and positivity was enormous and everyone in the team was absolutely thrilled. We are already thinking about the next year and hope to open up the IT industry for women bit by bit. #wearecoders #womeninstem
If you are interested in next year’s coding camp
Some impressions from last year
Read the blogpost from last year here.