Sydney Brunson | Diversity Programs Specialist
For the past three summers, we’ve hosted the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program, which encourages rising junior and senior high school students to spend the summer learning how to code. This year, 46 students joined Pinterest engineers for a day of activities including resume building sessions, coding workshops and interview training.
The day ended with a panel of Pinterest engineers discussing their personal and professional journeys. Panelists included Kinnary Jangla (Discovery engineering), Elsa Birch (Partner engineering), Zaria Howard (Engineering intern), Christina Lee (Android engineer) and Michelle Vu (Core Experience engineering).
A look at the day
“I wasn’t ambitious growing up. And I think it’s okay to not be ambitious growing up. Life will work out just fine, as long as you follow your passion.” She also shared, “You don’t need math to be a computer scientist. You need the desire to want to be a detective and want to solve problems.” — Kinnary Jangla, Pinterest engineer
“One important piece is how many ways you can do tech ‘right.’ Almost none of the panelists had a traditional tech background. It was inspiring to see how many different ways people came to tech and how they made it theirs, capitalizing on previous experiences and using their individual strengths to contribute to their teams. When looking at the girls from GWC I was excited of all the different ways they had in front of them to navigate their college years, and what they would say about how those experiences shaped them in another 10 years looking back at young girls like themselves.” — Christina Lee, Pinterest engineer
“I’m glad we had the opportunity to challenge some of the stereotypes around software engineering, like how to look for real world learning experiences in college, how much math is really needed, and what we learned from our first jobs.” — Michelle Vu, Pinterest engineer
“The panel brought up the variety in reasons they’re interested in coding, which I’m happy to say was matched by the variety of paths we (the panelists) took to tech at Pinterest.” — Elsa Birch, Pinterest engineer
“The opportunities to meet young people like this is a big part of what gets me out of the bed in the morning. For every bit of advice I can give any of these girls, I receive tenfold that in clarity on why I’m here, working hard to be good at what I do. They remind me of the future I want for our industry, and how building that future takes dedicated attention and a bit of feisty courage.” — Christina Lee
We look forward to the program each year and are excited to continue our work with this amazing non-profit organization.
Learn how you can get involved with Girls Who Code!