As I hit the one month mark with Girl Develop It as Executive Director, I wanted to take a pause here and share some of my learning and thinking. These four weeks have been a whirlwind of learning and listening. We have much more of both to do, but I’m energized by what I’ve heard and some of the new strategies this community is sharing with me. Here are my key takeaways so far:

GDI’s needs to own its past before it moves forward. This organization was powered by an amazing group of volunteer women and non-binary leaders who worked to open and manage GDI Chapters across the country. The impact of this work has changed the lives of thousands of women, some of whom have shared with me the positive impact GDI has had on their lives and careers. …


The last year has been one of the more challenging ones for Girl Develop It (GDI) as we faced a hard set of truths: we may have created an organization with inclusiveness as a core principle, but have not always followed through on that promise.

A lot of soul searching has happened amongst GDI Board members and leadership, and a stronger organization is emerging. GDI is committed to broadening access to technology skills, driving the development of leadership and excellence for our instructors, students, and community, and doing all of our work from an actively anti-racist and anti-discriminatory stance.

In the spirit of transparency, here are some of the major changes we’ve made in…


To the Girl Develop It Community:

Thank you for continuing to raise your voices about your experiences with Girl Develop It. We are reading, internalizing, and reflecting on every tweet, message, email, and any other form of communication you have sent us. Looking ahead, we are currently making major policy changes to the way the organization is run. Your perspectives will be at the heart of these changes, so thank you again for sharing them.

But before we look ahead, we want to acknowledge that a lot has transpired over the past few months. We are deeply sorry for our missteps as an organization when it’s come to issues of race, racism, and the way both have been handled. Our goal now is to begin the healing process by publicly acknowledging what has happened and instituting critical policy and cultural changes, so that we can move forward productively as a community. This blog post comes on the heels of our staff and board members working around the clock to respond directly to grievances and requests that chapter leaders have posed to leadership. …


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This week, join GDI as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month by highlighting a member of our diverse community!

Meet Amber Hampton, Freelance Web Developer and member of GDI’s Boston chapter. We interviewed Amber to learn about her journey in tech as a Native American woman.

What brought you to tech?

It has been a bumpy road. I grew up in a trailer park in a family that worked typically in factories, fields, and mills. I was the first one in my family to graduate high school and I still have a living relative who is illiterate. …


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Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about growth here at GDI HQ. Growth in the traditional sense—in terms of the number of chapters, members, board, and staff — as well as in the added depth and breadth of our programs and initiatives and in the systems that make everything possible.

We’re proud to present this report on GDI’s impact since 2017, which demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement, the hallmark of an organization with a growth mindset.

An example of this is our revised mission statement, which is more inclusive than ever:

Girl Develop It (GDI) creates welcoming, supportive opportunities for women and non-binary adults to learn software development skills.

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Today, our movement is growing faster than ever before as more people who have been left out of tech are inspired to get involved, with an average of 2,500 new members signing up to join GDI communities across the country each month. Now, we are 62 chapters strong with over 110,000 members. …


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This week, join GDI as we celebrate Transgender Awareness Week by highlighting members of our diverse community! #TransAwarenessWeek aims to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to address the issues the community faces.

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Meet Sandra Willford, Front-end Developer at Propel, Co-Founder of June, and member of GDI Ann Arbor.

We interviewed Sandra to learn about her journey in tech as a transgender woman.

What are your preferred pronouns?

She and Her, but shouldn’t we all just learn to forgo pronouns and learn to use names? Pronouns are so impersonal and so 2010.

What brought you to tech?

Growing up my first computer was a Commodore 64, and I remember buying magazines with printed code in them so that you could type in your own games. You would then, of course, spend a half an hour or more saving the game to a cassette tape, and then repeating that every time you would want to play. …


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Since 2016, Girl Develop It (GDI) has partnered with Salesforce to bring hands-on, in-person Salesforce classes to GDI chapters across the United States. We are proud to announce the continuation of this successful collaboration.

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To date, 100 volunteer instructors have taught in-demand Salesforce skills to over 400 students in 30 classes. These students have earned over 700 badges on Salesforce’s free online learning platform, Trailhead, with each badge signifying the mastery of new tech skills. …


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As you may know, Girl Develop It (GDI) HQ works on a fully distributed team. So do our friends at DuckDuckGo, the internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs. We asked our network of chapter leaders, representing over 60 chapters across the United States, to ask the experts at DuckDuckGo anything and several of them wanted to learn more about mentoring.

The following conversation between DuckDuckGo team members Ali Greene and Lily Rouff, gives an inside look on the informal mentorship opportunities that exist at DuckDuckGo. …


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Girl Develop It (GDI) is proud to announce that DreamHost will be the official sponsor of our WordPress classes!

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One of the biggest thrills as a web developer is when you share your first website with the world. In order to do that, you need to find a hosting provider you trust. That’s where DreamHost comes in. DreamHost helps to make dreams a reality by hosting over 1.5 million websites, WordPress blogs, and applications for designers, developers, and small businesses.

“We are thrilled to announce this sponsorship by DreamHost, a company that shares so many of our values. DreamHost is dedicated to empowering people and so are we,” said Corinne Warnshuis, GDI’s executive director. “At GDI, we are all about lowering barriers to entry for beginning web developers. This partnership will allow us to reach even more adult women and people who have been left out of tech to learn WordPress and to build their first websites,” she explained. …

About

Girl Develop It | GDI

Through classes, projects, and events, GDI students develop code, confidence, and community. https://www.girldevelopit.com/

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