Empowering women of diverse backgrounds from around the world to learn how to develop software


I am Erin Wilbur.
@likedaang | github

  • Fine Art major in college
  • Sr. Interactive Designer at Corvisa
  • Believe in making things & helping others make things

What is Girl Develop It (GDI)?

  • Started by Vanessa Hurst and Sarah Chipps in New York in order to provide learning in a low cost and judgement free environment
  • vanessahurst.com | sarajchipps.com
  • There are now 24 chapters worldwide.
GDI new chapters

What is GDI about?

To create a network of empowered women who feel confident in their abilities to code and build meaningful, well crafted web and mobile applications.

By teaching women around the world from diverse backgrounds to learn software development, we can help improve their careers and confidence in their everyday lives.

Why GDI?

Women in computer science stats

How Does This Relate to MKE?

How did this happen?

Starts at a young age

  • Depiction through media of primarily male profession
  • Absence of Role Models

Sally Ride

"I never went into physics or the astronaut corps to become a role model. But after my first flight, it became clear to me that I was one. And I began to understand the importance of that to people. Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can't be what you can't see."

  • Toys at a young age
  • Difficult for teachers to incorporate computational thinking beyond math in most public schools
Girls and Software

By Susan Sons

Comment about the article:
"As a kid, I loved programming. When I became a teenager, I got wind that it wasn't "cool" and got spooked. For someone as insecure as I was, having a hobby that I couldn't really "explain" felt embarrassing. Had I known a single other kid / girl that like computers like I did, I might have continued on that path and not been distracted for about 10 yrs."

Anyone recall?

Why is this Important?

Computer applications have an increasing influence in society

Benefits of Gender Diversity:

  • In order to withstand competition from abroad our country must have women playing a larger role.
  • Addition of women would mitigate innovation-hindering effects like homogenized groupthink.
  • Need for more diversity in problem thinking

Gender diverse workforce will help businesses to better cater to their clients...

People purchasing a product have varied interests and aren't just men

Neil Degrasse Tyson

"So I think we are at an interesting paradox. Access to science is greater than ever before... Yet, you have people who believe they are scientifically literate but, in fact, are not... We're an elective democracy where science and technology will define where the economically strong countries in the world will be... You can't have people making decisions about the future of the world who are scientifically illiterate."

Early Programmers: Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace is often described as the first programmer

ada lovelace

Grace Hopper

What this is NOT

This is not because women need more help than men to be successful -- the help here is about providing access to peer networks & as a support group.


Just to name a few...

  • HTML / CSS
  • JavaScript / jQuery
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Mobile
  • Ruby and Rails


  • Intro to Web Concepts (Thu March 6th, 6:30pm)
  • Responsive Design
  • Wordpress
  • Git / github
  • Data Modeling
  • Algorithms
  • Command Line

The Future

Storing data becomes cheaper and cheaper

Add new perspectives

Missing block of history

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Super Thanks!