By: Kim Regala, Staff Writer
In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), the SFSS Women’s Centre and Women in Computing Science (WiCS) SFSS club held an event called the IWD Intro to Coding Workshop on March 3.
Women and non-binary individuals were invited to a two-hour session of learning Python (a common programming language), networking, and a Q&A panel from WiCS members. Facilitating the workshop was WiCS Technical Coordinator Dawn Chandler, and Graduate students Carmen Riddel, Raquel Aoki, and Jennifer Dai.
The purpose of the workshop was to learn how to code a password generator, a tool that would generate complex passwords to be used in online accounts. Chandler first demonstrated how the application worked, giving an idea of what attendees would be working towards. In order to accommodate every person’s learning speed, each attendee had access to the instructions on the PowerPoint slides on their individual computers. This gave the option of following along with the whole group or moving at one’s own pace.
As this was an event to introduce beginners to the basic concepts of coding in Python, Chandler primarily stuck with simple items of instruction which did not require prior experience. The other WiCS mentors were also readily available for help, checking in on the attendees to answer questions and guide them through the process.
The event concluded with a Q&A panel, where WiCS members openly answered questions raised by attendees. This opened up an insightful discussion regarding personal experiences of learning how to code, as well as online resources for further continuing to learn coding.
After the event, attendees enjoyed networked and mingled with one another while enjoying a delicious selection of food provided by the Women’s Centre.