Coding Black Females: Our Story
Build. Learn. Support
Coding Black Females was created in 2017. Our primary aim is to provide opportunities for Black Female Developers to develop themselves, meet familiar faces, network, receive support and build relationships through having regular meet-ups.
Why Did We Start?
I’ve been a developer for over 10 years, and during that time, I’ve not met many other Black Female Developers. I have attended multiple types of events, and always found the same thing, not many faces like mine, if any! On occasions when I met other black women at tech events, I frequently found they were not in programming roles.
Early in 2017, I attended a screening of Hidden Figures, a film about three black women who were among some of the greatest brains at NASA during the Space Race. I felt tremendously inspired to know that some of the first programmers, the first coders were black women leading the way. That night I went home and immediately created Coding Black Females on meetup.com. I wanted black women to inspire and empower each other to do and achieve more.
What Are We Doing?
We meet regularly so that we can provide each other with support, and code together, We share our experiences, which could include a variety of topics ranging from: what we are learning, our latest coding problem, if any of us are experiencing any form of sexism, racism, or the general feeling of isolation.
We’ve also talked at length about the best moisturisers to use in our natural hair, something I’ve never been able to do with the people I usually code with.
Our sessions are focussed around learning to code, or building our project together. We also aim to have a speaker once a month at the beginning of a session for up to half an hour.
In the last year, some of the highlights have been:
- Black women seeing the tech industry as more accessible as they’ve been meeting other black women at different stages of their career and taking different approaches to starting their career.
- We are focussing on building a website together, to enable group members to develop their skills and confidence on a real evolving project.
- Members are able to focus on learning new languages, and having a group of people with different skill levels that they can lean on for support.
- We have a safe space for members who want to share issues, do public speaking, or who want to share discussion topics with the group.
It is vital that we are able to have regular meets to talk things through and it’s amazing for us to know that we can share our experiences with other women from similar backgrounds.
When and Where Do We Meet?
We currently meet twice a month, out of working hours. Typically we will have sessions on a Wednesday between 6pm and 8.30pm, with a few exceptions.
Our sessions will generally be in central London, and we’re now meeting in the offices of our sponsors or WeWork offices.
How Can I Get Involved?
Become a member: If you are a Coding Black Female, it’s really easy to sign up and start attending our events. Head over to codingblackfemales.com, where you can sign up and see when all our events are happening.
Become a speaker: If you would like to come along and inspire black women in tech, then get in touch.
Get in touch!