Ever since I stepped into college, I noticed there were only a few female students studying Computer Science, Information Technology, and all Engineering courses in my university. In my class, a third of it is composed of girls. There are some blocks that have less than 5.
Given that computer-related courses is in the top three choices of most students who enter college, the numbers are small, as is the number of female instructors.
I’m pretty sure everyone has heard about Etsy, the famous online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, is sponsoring ten grants worth $5,000 each for ten lucky females who need financial support to participate in the summerlong program of Hacker School.
Wait, HACKER school?
It is a free three-month, full-time school in New York whose ultimate goal is for participants to become a better programmer. It is open to any participant, male or female, but Etsy’s Engineering VP Marc Hedlund spearheaded the idea of increasing the female population in engineering, thus the scholarship.
A few days ago, I myself applied for the program. While I know that New York is half way ’round the world (the venue will be Etsy’s HQ) and if ever I was chosen, I still have to get a visa.. I’m giving it a shot.
It’s not everyday that we are given opportunities for growth and personal development (skill set) for FREE, especially in my country, unless you self-study. Honestly the CS curriculum used here is not at par with the current technology or standards of the international community. This summer program will definitely give me a chance to immerse myself into programming and reclaim my former love and enthusiasm for it.
Not that I’m saying I don’t love programming nor I’m not interested in it anymore. Its just that I feel like something’s missing, especially after being exposed to the corporate world then going back to school.
And hopefully, use whatever I will learn from it to contribute to my community – in the form of teaching others and/or develop apps that will help.
I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I feel like whatever I answered in the application form will not par with other participants. Whatever happens, God knows best for me.
Oh, it might be too early but thank you Etsy! Thank you for opening doors for us female programmers :’)
Interested? Classes start June 4 2012 and end on August 25 2012. Apply here!
- Etsy Hacker Grants: Supporting Women in Technology (etsy.com)
- Why and how Etsy is targeting women programmers (venturebeat.com)
- Etsy wants to solve Silicon Valley’s women problem (gigaom.com)
- Hacker School (YCS10): Summer 2012 Applications Open + Etsy Scholarships (hackerschool.com)