DEVELOP(her), A Free Coding Bootcamp for Women

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Update: This blog post was written about our 2016 program. Applications are now closed. 

On July 18, we’ll kick off DEVELOP(her), a coding bootcamp for women in the Detroit and Flint communities. DEVELOP(her) is an innovative program that will allow us to find, train and unleash 20 female developers into the world. So why a bootcamp just for women?

Let’s take a look at some stats to explain. Women dominate the workforce and universities in the U.S. (57% for both), but when we look at representation in tech, women aren’t equally represented. Women are just 25% of the computing workforce. For those of us who decide to pursue a career in tech, less than 50% stay in those tech roles.   

Free Coding Bootcamp for Women

There’s clearly a missing link. In elementary and middle school, women have just as much interest in science, math and tech as their male counterparts. I’m sure you’ve heard this narrative. Somewhere between high school and college, a large number of us pursue a different path whether it’s because of a lack of exposure, misinformed beliefs or not seeing any STEM sheroes.

I think about myself as a kid—in addition to dancing (during softball games) and singing (really anytime I could), my idea of fun was having my siblings write me math “homework.” I now do a lot of really cool things in my job and majored in something I was wholeheartedly interested in, but math and science aren’t a part of my day to day. I know I’m not the only one with a similar story.

Grand Circus created DEVELOP(her) because we believe the best way to change the narrative about women in tech is to take action. DEVELOP(her) will increase the number of women in the tech industry and support them as they grow in their technical roles. We have three incredible partners who also believe that the tech industry should reflect the diversity of our communities. Through the generosity of The Hagerman Foundation and TEKsystems, this program is completely free to participants. The initial class will consist of 20 women who will receive 10 weeks of training followed by early career mentorship through the Michigan Council of Women in Technology. (MCWT, by the way, Women working at Grand Circusis on a mission to make Michigan the place to be for women in IT.)

We have a growing list of employers excited to support DEVELOP(her) by attending office hours and networking events and ultimately, hiring the graduates. (Want me to add you to the list? Just let me know.) Just this week, a company CIO asked me, “Can we hire 5? Today?”  

And what better communities to focus on than Detroit and Flint? As Jocelyn Hagerman, co-founder of The Hagerman Foundation stated, “Flint and Detroit are experiencing rapid growth in the tech sector and encouraging women to be a part of that growth is vital in creating a flourishing, diverse tech industry. This bootcamp is just the first step in a progressive effort for greater inclusion and advancement.”

Applications are now closed for this program. Interesting in joining a daytime, tuition-based bootcamp? Check out our Bootcamps page

Learn more about our incredible partners for the DEVELOP(her) program:

About The Hagerman Foundation

The Hagerman Foundation is a non-profit organization based in downtown Flint, MI. Its mission is to empower people through relationships that foster an impact for good and to support organizations that promote education, life skills, entrepreneurship, ministry, counseling, and the arts in surrounding communities.

About TEKsystems

Since great people are at the heart of every successful business initiative, our unmatched relationships with the best IT professionals provide a strong foundation for our full suite of services. We offer IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise, and IT applications, infrastructure and education services. Each service is scalable, meaning we meet our clients where they’re at today, and take them where they want to go.

About Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation strives to inspire and grow women in technology fields, with an aspirational vision to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with programming, scholarships, networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences.