A worldwide movement that aims to bridge the gender divide in technology and teach women how to code is coming to Galway.
‘Rails Girls’, which is being funded by NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Outreach Programme, will take place from 17 to 18 May at DERI, located in the Dangan IDA Business Park.
The free weekend workshop will introduce females of all ages to the world of building web applications and software services.
The event organisers comprise mainly of young female IT researchers involved in local third-level colleges, businesses, schools and volunteer digital makers’ clubs such as CoderDojo and 091Labs.
The workshop will use ‘Ruby on Rails’, a web application framework for the Ruby programming language, and is open to all enthusiastic girls and women. No prior knowledge of programming is required and the event is suitable for absolute beginners to computer coding.
Myriam Leggieri, DERI researcher at NUI Galway and one of the chief organisers, said the country desperately needs a generation of young coders of both sexes to help lay the foundations of a ‘Knowledge Economy’ and create the jobs for a sustainable future.
“But there is, in particular, a dire shortage of female IT developers in Ireland and across the world as well as in the professions of science, technology, engineering and maths professions generally. There is no reason why this should be the case except for lack of exposure to such environments.
“Events such as ‘Rails Girls’ directly address this issue and empower girls to take the first step in learning these in-demand skills and acquiring the tools to conquer one of the last great frontiers of science, namely the World Wide Web.”
The first event, launched by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen, was held in Helsinki in 2010 and has become a worldwide phenomena.
Further information and application forms are available at www.railsgirls.com/galway. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 30 April. There are a limited amount of places available so early registration is recommended.