Want to change your life for the better? I thought so… keep reading! And no, this isn’t an ad, guys. It’s just me, really excited to tell you something cool.
Last night, I had the opportunity to do something seriously amazing: I attended the launch of Google’s new website, Made With Code, which was hosted by Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Clinton. The event also featured motivational speeches by powerful working women, a jaw-dropping performance by Iluminate, a super fun performance by Icona Pop, and the opportunity to check out everything Made With Code has to offer. It was an incredible experience, to say the least.
Not only did I have a really great time, but I also learned so many things that I really want to share with you guys. First of all, what the heck is Made With Code? I was confused too at first, but it’s pretty simple. Google launched the website Made With Code in an effort to get more young girls interested in coding, or in other words, computer science. Coding is what it makes it possible for us to have websites, social media accounts, apps on phones and tablets, cartoon characters powered by computer graphics, and so much more. Coding is literally everywhere – we wouldn’t have half the things we have right now if coding weren’t a thing.
Unfortunately, coding is also a male-dominated field. Last night I learned that since 2001, the percentage of women doing coding has dropped significantly. In fact, according to Google, less than one percent of high school girls see computer science as a part of their future. That’s really disappointing, considering that coding IS our future. And women should be as much apart of that, if not more, as men are!
I know that coding, and computer science in general, can seem a little intimidating. Since it’s not a stereotypically “girly” field to be interested in, it might turn you off. Coding also gets a bad reputation because a lot of people seem to think it’s nerdy. But, hey… if it’s nerdy to be a smart, successful person who knows how to create incredibly interesting things (like cool apps and new social media sites), then count me in.
That’s why Google created Made With Code… to show you that coding isn’t as bad as you might think it is. If you scroll around on the site, you can do some projects that let you experiment with the basics of coding. One project allows you to create a custom bracelet, which Google then prints on a 3D printer and sends to you. Another one lets you create GIFs. Another one lets you compose a beat, and another lets you create a 2D personality. All of these projects are awesome, and definitely worth checking out. And there are a bunch of other ones too!
The event last night definitely changed my mind about coding and computer science in general. As I mentioned before, it was hosted by Mindy Kaling, who is one of my favorite celebrities ever. Mindy is a hilarious and smart actress, writer, producer, director, and Instagram-poster who gave a few amazing speeches last night. Mindy is one of the only celebs out there who actually really inspires me. She was followed by Chelsea Clinton, and it was great to hear Chelsea talk – I learned a lot about her background.
I also got to hear the inspirational stories behind some of the Google Made With Code mentors. These are women who have made a very successful living out of coding. I loved the speeches by Miral Kotb (who created Iluminate), Danielle Feinberg (who works for Pixar), and Erica Kochi (who is trying to save the world). Their stories about how they got into coding, and how they made it their life’s passion, were so motivational.
Also, this is more superficial, but still worth mentioning: I got to play around with some Made With Code projects with Mindy! Even better, we took a selfie together. I almost cried, no joke. I love Mindy – I think everything she does is amazing, and she is such an inspiration.
Anyway, here’s the point I’m trying to make: if you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet, you should consider coding. It is such an important field, and it’s one that we absolutely need more women involved with. You can make your coding experience all your own – Miral Kotb made hers about dancing, Danielle Feinberg made hers about cartoons, and Erica Kochi made hers about helping people. You can do whatever you want with coding, but first you need to learn. Take a computer science class. Don’t be afraid to be the only girl in there, and show all the boys there how awesome you are. Just try it. It could seriously change your life.
Have you ever considered coding or computer science? Would you be interested in trying it? What’s your dream job? Tell me in the comments!