When Coding,fashion & UX Design meet: Learnings from our Coding Day with Frosmo

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Earlier this year Margarita Obraztsova,working at Frosmo as a Web Developer, took part in the GIT Helsinki mentoring program as a mentee and got the idea to host a coding day at their office together with Girls in Tech Helsinki. She contacted us and some time later, we started to work together on the organization of this event.

“I have had the idea in my mind since the last bootcamp and I felt like I wanted events like that to happen more often as I believe they will benefit people who are really passionate about coding.“, Margarita ponders. The event called Girls in Tech Helsinki goes FROSMO: The Coding Day saw the daylight on 29th of October and it consisted on  a practical workshop on the topics of web development and tools.The event was designed for beginners with basic knowledge in HTML/CSS/JavaScript languages.

There were application tasks in order to get those people in, who do not just want to familiarize themselves with what web development is – but already have a basic knowledge and have a perspective of actually working in the industry in the future. In the end the event got 50 applications but only 20 got accepted to ensure a personal assistance on tasks. “There were some guys among applicants too, which surprised me even more in a good way”, said Margarita.

Would you manage to do the application tasks? http://codepen.io/collection/DpbKqr/

Margarita invited several developers from Frosmo to help the participants in the workshops. The task of the day was to create a fashion magazine webpage and she prepared instructions for creating the page while the participants proceeded at their own pace during the day.

“I have never seen a group of girls working in such silence”, mentioned Jaana Pylvänen ,one of the Co-Director of Girl in Tech Helsinki, after the motivated group of girls started working on the development tasks.

You can find the the instructions made by Margarita here. Go and try creating the webpage yourself!

Inspiring presentations & talks

During the day, we had the chance to hear 3 inspiring speeches from different professionals in the field of technology:

Juhani Mykkänen from Wolt started by stating that programming is the best and most realistic way to conquer the world. He felt sorry that there are way too little girls doing programming at the moment and that should be changed.

-Marcia Villalba told her own story and career path all the way from youth to engineering studies and to Rovio’s Toons TV where she is currently working as a full stack developer.

Marcia had eight lessons from her path that she shared with the participants:

  1. We need more parents like my parents. Meaning that parents need to let their children to do what they are most passionate about. Even if that means growing up a crazy kid as she playfully describes herself.
  2. Develop your logical thinking.
  3. Don’t stay in a toxic environment.
  4. Don’t do just one thing. Learn many things like Business + Design + Technology.
  5. Technology is just a tool.
  6. Learn by yourself and drive your career!
  7. Look for a job that makes you happy.
  8. Join communities.

Finally, Chryssa Skodra  shared notions that she would have wanted to hear when she was younger. According to Chryssa,  these are the mistakes that every woman needs to recognize and change to succeed in tech and business.

  1.     Mistake: Failure to define your brand.

Task: Go home and fill in the blank. “I am a woman who..” So define yourself and be bold!

  1.     Mistake: Not asking questions in fear of sounding stupid.
  2.     Mistake: Lack of mentoring and inability to ask for help.

Task: Identify a few people you admire in your field and ask if they would be willing to spend 30 minutes a month to answer to questions you have.

  1.     Mistake: Holding back on entrepreneurship.
  2.     Mistake: Multitasking. Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should do it.
  3.     Mistake: Denying the importance of money.
  4.     Mistake: Believing you have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good.

Would like to hear more? Listen Chryssa’s success hacks to overcome these common mistakes and the presentations from Marcia Villalba and Juhani Mykkänen here.

In 5 words: We all learned a lot!

Co-organizer of the event, Margarita describes the effort made to make the coding day happen. “I am not a professional event organizer. I am a web developer. And, in fact, this event was my very first experience organizing something like this. I can say, that I have learned a lot!I have done mostly the parts that concerned my field:  landing page for registration, application tasks, the blogpost with the workshop content and I also invited the speakers and coaches. In addition, I am very happy that FROSMO, the company I work for, had generously agreed to sponsor the event, because it goes very well together with the company policy of diversity. For example, we have a team with people of 40 different nationalities (probably, even more as I speak)! I am very grateful to all the people from the company who helped me: coaches and volunteers.”

One of the participants was Anna-Kaisa Böök, an office and marketing assistant at Solinor Oy. She thought that the best thing during the day was the atmosphere and the speakers. “The speakers were interesting, different, smart and such role models. In a way the event was a confirmation that there are many of us women who are smart, talented and very ambitious. I liked changing ideas with other participants and the workshop task was suitable for every participant. It suited for more advanced girls and also for us beginners since everyone was allowed to proceed at their own pace.” -mentioned Anna.

Anna-Kaisa also shared with us that they have had a weekly coding school with her colleague after workdays. The event at FROSMO inspired them to have even one more session per week in the future. Other participants, Joanna Purosto, a Marketing Manager at Recruitby.net, mentioned that after the coding day she had gone through the courses in codecademy.com to learn more about web development.

“Many girls after the event told me it was very inspiring.  They have also done a great job during the workshop, and learnt a bunch of new things. I am so very happy about it and I see this as a good reason to organize more events of this kind also in future”, summarizes Margarita.

From Girls in Tech Helsinki side, we had a fantastic day with the team at Frosmo and definitely the event showed us the need for more events on this topic where women but also men can come together, learnt and develop further their  skills while getting to know new people in a relaxed atmosphere.

A big thanks to Frosmo for their support!

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