Djangocon: want more woman in tech? Start with Django Girls - Sara Heins

Tags: djangocon, django

(One of my summaries of a talk at the 2018 European djangocon.)

She lives in Kansas, USA. Kansas is great for women in tech, there are many initiatives. The one she is most enthousiastic about is django girls.

“We are raising our girls to be perfect and we’re raising our boys to be brave”. If a woman applies for a job, she fulfills 100% of the demands, if a man applies, he fullfills on average 60%…

Why does programming make girls brave? You are going to mistakes and you’re going to fix them. How do you get more girls to try it? One of the best ways is to organize a django girls workshop.

There are some qualifications you don’t need.

  • You don’t need to be perfect. You only have to be brave :-)

  • You don’t need to be a savvy event planner. There’s lots of info on github. There are pre-made websites. Lots of resources.

  • You don’t need to have a large budget.

Qualifications you do need:

  • You need to be able to solve problems.

  • You need to be open to learning new things.

  • You need to want to constantly improve. You’ll be busy with it for half a year and you are also going to get some negative feedback: learn from it.

There are some stages of organizing it:

  • Planning. You need a team to run it.

    Attract sponsors. Use your network for this. Polish your sponsorship “ask”: ask it as soon and directly as possible in your email. Include statistics and bold items to make them stand out. And… personalize it!

  • Recruitment. Mentors. They don’t need to be django or python experts, it is enough if they understand basic programming concepts.

    Mentors can be any gender!

    Aim for a mix of junior and senior programmers.

    And…. you need to find attendees! Press releases, blog posts, local news, schools, meetups/events, flyers.

  • Accept/reject attendees.

  • Final stretch. Last minute worry things…

  • The day! The friday evening before, an install-and-pizza party. That way you can get started with the fun stuff on saturday morning. On saturday the actual day. Breakfast, presentation, tutorials, lunch, tutorial session again. Followed by a mentor appreciation party.

  • After the event. Retrospective, see what can be done better, see what worked well.

Do you want to do it?

  • Find a venue (great wifi is a must) and coordinate a date.

  • Fill in the short form at

Do it! If you don’t do it, nobody in your city might.

Photo explanation: station signs on the way from Utrecht (NL) to Heidelberg (DE). logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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