Business

Seattle groups launch coding scholarship for low-income women

A new scholarship is available for women who want to learn to code but can’t afford to enroll in a hacker bootcamp.

ASeattle-based women in technology group called WiT. To support members from low-income backgrounds, local tech companies agreed to step in with a $10,000 scholarship — enough to cover the cost of tuition and basic expenses.

Seattle-area companies contributing to the scholarship include SeedIPAffinityZealystTredNew Car City, and Code Fellows.

The winner of the scholarship will be automatically enrolled in a Code Fellows bootcamp to learn Ruby on Rails. Code Fellows says female graduates of the program are “guaranteed” an annual salary of at least $60,000 per year at a tech company.

The bootcamp is designed for women with basic programming experience who haven’t yet mastered Ruby on Rails. In recent years, startups and large corporate giants alike have concluded that Ruby on Rails is the optimal language for developing web apps, and it’s increasingly in demand.

Another unique element about the program is that it’s exclusively for women. This is a similar model to Bay Area-based coding school, Hackbright Academy.

“The women-only course provides them with a unique opportunity to learn among peers and to immediately build a network of fellow female coders,” said Will Little, the managing director of Code Fellows, an organization that also offers co-ed classes.

Despite the boom in the tech economy, women’s share of bachelor’s degrees in computer science at colleges and universities is decreasing, according to the National Science Foundation. For the minority that opt to work in tech companies, workplace “brogrammer” culture is still an issue, and is causing women developers to leave the industry in their droves.

The first bootcamp takes place from July 8 to Aug. 23, and the scholarship will be awarded at the end of the month. Check out the Code Fellows website to apply.

Top image via Code Fellows


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