Group aims to get women into tech with free classes in Provo

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Girl Develop It provides coding classes to women for free.

Girl Develop It provides coding classes to women for free.

Wanted: Women who want to learn software development and to build web and mobile applications — for (mostly) free.

Lyza Nau has started a chapter of Girl Develop It in Provo, and any woman in the area is welcome to join.

“Girl Develop It is a nonprofit basically there to help provide affordable, non-judgment classes for women interested in learning web and software development,” Nau said. … “You don’t have to have any kind of experience. We have women from all different kinds of backgrounds.”

Girl Develop It was founded in New York City in 2010 and now has chapters in 46 cities with more than 35,000 members.

[pullquote]”Girl Develop It is a nonprofit basically there to help provide affordable, non-judgment classes for women interested in learning web and software development. … You don’t have to have any kind of experience. We have women from all different kinds of backgrounds.” —Lyza Nau, Provo chapter organizer for Girl Develop It [/pullquote]

The group meets once a month for a class, on the third Thursday of the month, and once for a hack night, on the first Thursday. At the classes, volunteer instructors in the field teach in their area of expertise, so attendees come away with a new skill — the goal for Thursday night is to have the women build a website, Nau said. Hack night is a little different and even more hands-on — in October, participants will tear down a computer and put it back together.

Nau said she’s had a good response from women interested in the chapter and from instructors interested in sharing their skills.

Nau, who’s a web designer, graphic designer, full-time mom, LDS young women president and more, has been working in the tech field since 2008. She joined the Salt Lake chapter of Girl Develop It about a year ago, and likes the support of meeting with other women who are in the field or interested in joining. The tech field is a great one for women, she said. Her career allows her the flexibility to be there for her kids and work — “as long as I have a laptop I can work from anywhere.”

And coding isn’t as intimidating as it seems, Nau added. She also teaches children how to code, including her two daughters (ages 10 and 15).

“If my 10-year-old can put together a little code … I feel like anyone can,” she said.

The Provo chapter’s first meeting starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Google Fiber Space (250 W. Center St. #101 in Provo). Each meeting covers different topics, and attendees on Thursday will learn what domains, hosting and text editors are and why they matter and how to create a basic website using html. All you need to do is RSVP here. There’s no cost for the class. Most events will be free, but sometimes there may be a cost. If there is, it will be listed on the meetup site in advance.
Members also are welcome to attend Salt Lake chapter events.

For more information about Girl Develop It, go to girldevelopit.com and follow it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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