Creative Coding Collaborative Learning Sessions
Are you female and would like to learn to code?
Course not currently running, sorry, but see this page for learning to code resources.
My name is Charlie and I'm a female Computer Scientist here at the University of Birmingham who's running some free online collaborative coding sessions on Thursday evenings from 22nd May for 4+ weeks, and I'd love you to join in :).
The course will run entirely online, and start from scratch. You don't need any prior knowledge, just a bit of enthusiasm.
We'll use a tool called Processing, which is a coding environment specifically aimed at visual artists and others interested in using code in particularly creative ways (although I would argue that coding itself is simply creative problem solving :)).
We'll be using a collaborative environment called Sketchpad.cc, which basically runs Processing in a browser while allowing several people to make changes to programs together.
This means we can all code along together in a friendly and supportive environment :). I'll start off by taking you through some simple code that generates an animation, then you are free to work on your own projects or some examples I've prepared. Hit any problems and I (and the rest of the participants) will be on hand to jump in and help you think through how to solve them.Example sketchpad code environment
If you would like to join the sessions, you will need to:
- be 16 years old or over
- be female
- be able to access the Sketchpad.cc tool via a browser
- have a Skype account
- be free Thurs nights 8-9PM (British Summer Time) from 22nd May for at least 4 weeks
- understand spoken & written English (sadly my language skills don't stretch very far)
To sign up, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you with more details.
- Once you're on the course, I will send you an invite to sign up to the UoB Computer Science Sketchpad.cc area. (Note that it's a special area just for this course, not the general Sketchpad.cc open area, although feel free to sign up for that too!)
- Go through the Hello Processing introductory interactive video (it's only an hour long). Note down any questions that you have along the way.
- *optional but advised* Download and install Processing and have a play. Once again, take a note of any questions or problems you encounter.
- Come up with a creative project for yourself. It's wayyyy easier to learn to code with a specific aim or project in mind, rather than just 'learning to code'. Take a look at the examples online and within the Processing environment itself. For example, you could create a simple game, or learn to apply filters to photos.
- Make sure you're signed up to Skype & let me have your skype username.
Why run coding sessions just for women?
Women are under-represented in Computer Science (only around 17% of undergrad CS degrees in the UK in 2012/3 were taken by women, and it's an issue in the workforce too), so this is an attempt to do something about that!
I also received the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship for women, which is intended to reduce barriers for women to get into tech, so I'm keen to pass on the tech love.
If you're keen to join a collaborative session but don't meet the criteria, drop me an email and if there's enough interest I'll try to run something later this year.
I can't make the sessions: where else can I get help / learn to code / find out more about women in technology?
- The Hello Processing interactive tutorial is a brilliant place to start, and the Processing website has lots of support and tutorials.
- If you want to just code in your browser to start with, rather than having to download and install Processing, take a look at Sketchpad.cc.
- You can join a online Creative Coding course with Futurelearn, a new-ish online learning platform (officially, it's a "MOOC", a Massive Open Online Course).
- The Guardian lists 4 groups for women in tech, and there are plenty of meetups and friendly hackspaces around the country.
- Birmingham-based bunnies should check out the local Ladies Who Code. Non-Brummies hop over here.
*new*Take a look at a new set of "cake and coding" tutorials
Do I have to be in Birmingham | the UK | some other location to join in?
Nope. It's all online so you can be anywhere. You just need to be relatively awake 8-9 PM British Summer Time on Thursday nights.