2019 was an incredible year for Women Who Code. We experienced tremendous growth, envisioned and deployed ambitious programs, and dramatically expanded our reach to provide even greater support and inspiration to engineers around the world. And we’re going to do even more in 2020! But before we move forward, we want to take a moment to reflect on all that we, as a global and connected community, have achieved over the past year.
“I became part of WWCode Ukraine years ago - since then I have received a lot of great opportunities - to be a speaker, visit conferences, get my new job and get inspiration to grow in the Data Science field as I have always dreamt about. I’m passionate about AI, data and BioTechnologies - and I have enrolled in a few NASA data science projects as part of the NASA Datanaut program. I started learning data science, R and Python after meeting such an inspirational Data Scientist woman at WWCode meetups in Kyiv.”
- Tamara Koliada, WWCode Kyiv member
“My career has been hugely affected by volunteering with WWCode, and continues to be on a daily basis. I’ve met some incredible individuals and experienced exceptional talks and discussions, which all have led to me becoming Director and seeking the opportunity to contribute more.”
- Beth Glenfield, WWCode Belfast Director
The WWCode CONNECT Conference series features the industry's premier technical events each year. The flagship of this initiative is WWCode CONNECT SF, which is a major conference that takes place in the Bay Area, and which attracts hundreds of industry leaders, luminaries, and professionals from around the world to come together and celebrate innovation.
WWCode CONNECT SF Announcement
CONNECT SF Retrospective and Stats
Other events in this series include CONNECT Asia, which was held in Singapore last year, and CONNECT NYC. Both of these events featured high level speakers exploring in--depth technical topics, areas of innovation, and cutting edge technologies. But the power of these conferences really comes from the inspiration that is evoked in such electric atmospheres of ideas and creativity, as well as the connections which are formed and which can have career, and life changing effects.
What I did at CONNECT Asia 2019 Part One
What I did at CONNECT Asia 2019 Part Two
Project Taara is a VMInclusion initiative that was developed in a partnership between WWCode and VMWare. The goal of this program was to help 15,000 women in India return to work in the tech industry after a leave of absence, by helping to retrain them in vital skills that may have evolved in the ever-changing industry while they were not working.
This is an important project because an average of 56% of all women in tech will leave their jobs mid-career. That number is even worse in India. In cases where this is intended to be a temporary move, women looking to reenter the tech workforce can find themselves daunted by the knowledge and skills that have to be developed to catch up to the industry. Project Taara provides them with the support and educational opportunities they need to overcome those hurdles and resume a successful career.
Why I Became a VMInclusion Taara Evangelist
In 2019 Women Who Code launched a revolutionary new program known as Track Communities. These were virtual learning groups that consisted of webinars, video chats with industry leaders, online workshops, and group support through Slack channels. Track Communities were designed to be highly technical programs that took a deep dive into a number of topics. This included Blockchain, Cloud, Data Science, Front End, Mobile, and
Through this initiative, WWCode was able to reach engineers around the world, including many who did not live close enough to a local Network to attend an in person event. These people were not only provided with valuable knowledge and insights, but were also connected to one another, allowing them to experience the full support of a global community of technologists.
In order to provide leadership for the Track Communities, WWCode developed a Fellowship Program. This consisted of individuals that were tasked with envisioning, designing, developing, and leading each of the Track Communities. This they accomplished, with no real template, dreaming and then creating these groups and providing them with valuable programming and guidance throughout the entire year.
“Words cannot express how gracious I am for receiving a sponsored ticket to the 2019 cloud conference. Because of this I not only feel more confident to keep pursuing a career in development. I also know that I am apart of a great organization of women who will help me develop much needed technical skills, whilst connecting on a personal level. It makes me very proud to say I am apart of women who code. And all I can say to the WWCode for giving me the opportunity to attend an event that raised the bar, is thank you a million times over!”
- Khadijah Grimes, WWCode member
The culmination of the year for each of the Track Communities was an in-person event to celebrate the technology they had been exploring with a variety of speakers, panels, and workshops featuring some of the top leaders in the industry. This was a chance for virtual members to come together, connect, and share their passion for their chosen technology, while also networking with people from around the world who shared their interests.
WWCode DataPy 2019
WWCode FrontEnd Summit
WWCode Cloud 2019 Developer Conference
- My experience at WWCode Cloud 2019
“WWCode has greatly impacted my career so far. I am extremely grateful to have received a scholarship ticket to attend the WWCode Cloud Conference in San Francisco this year. At the conference I was able to both learn about cloud development and data security, and I was able to discover that data security was one of my passions. Lastly, the conference was hosted by Accenture. I had not heard of Accenture before the conference, but I was moved by the technological innovations and culture of equality at the company, and I met amazing women who worked there while at the conference. I will be starting my first job out of college as a technology analyst at Accenture this fall, and I never would have found that opportunity if it had not been for WWCode.”
- Sara Bunyard, WWCode SF member
“WWCode has given me a strong network of women in tech and has also helped me level up my skills as a software engineer through technical workshops and meetups. I recently lost my job, and by turning to my Network I was able to get an offer within 6 weeks and I start my new job soon!”
- Pooja P, WWCode SF member
Part of the core mission of Women Who Code is to help elevate engineers in their careers. Through participation in our local Networks, members can make valuable connections to people in the industry that can lead to important professional opportunities. We also work elevate the profile of WWCode members by encouraging them to become Networks Leaders, and take on speaking roles, mentorships, and other opportunities that can help them to stand out professionally.
Through the Women Who Code job board, we work closely with companies to ensure that they follow best practices for posting job ads, including the use of gender neutral language while also eliminating some of the features that often cause women to avoid applying for a position.
“(WWCode) is how I met my now employer - Auth0. And I am working to give back to the community by helping to organize a local hackathon event in Denver.”
- Dasha Nikitina, WWCode Boulder/Denver member
Each week Women Who Code puts out two editions of the CODE Review Newsletter. This features a number of inspirational stories, pertinent news clips, and career opportunities for tech professionals. Through this publication, we have given away over $1.5 million in conference tickets, including $375,000 in 2019.
These conferences are important professional events where engineers can network and connect with their peers, and receive valuable insights from industry luminaries. They often inspire people to take the next step in their career, or plant ideas in their minds that will become the innovations of the future.
“WWCode gave me the huge opportunity to attend the O’Reilly software architecture conference in London this past October. At this conference, I was able to learn from some of the greatest software architects in the industry. I was also able to meet with tech recruiters, including a recruiter from Accenture which ultimately ended up in me landing the job of my dreams and transitioning from a frontend developer to a software engineer! If it hadn’t been for WWCode I never would have had the chance to make that personal in person connection with the recruiter who vouched for me throughout the whole process. I’ve now relocated and have been working in Dublin for the past 2 months. WWCode helped change my life!”
- Amy louise McCabe, WWCode Dublin member
“Attending WWCode events has made a huge difference for me. In meeting other junior developers as well as mentors I’ve been able to slowly but surely be able to talk about my experiences learning and share ideas on not just code, but communities as well. I am so grateful to WWCode - when I last visited my family in Denver I made it to a meetup while there and the support we can offer each other is real. I am hoping that I can continue to be an engaged part of the community, not just in NYC, but also online (Slack and Twitter specifically), and in Denver when I visit my fam in the future!”
- Ariel Rivera, WWCode NYC Member
Our local Networks are one of the core features of the Women Who Code global community. They provide over 2,000 free technical and career training events each year where members can not only learn valuable skills to further their professional goals, but also connect with and support one another, reiterating the fact that they are not alone, and that their are other people like them in the industry.
“It has been just a couple of months, but I feel for the first time in my entire career that I'm doing something in which I can transcend. I could have the opportunity to reunite women and start a small community full of powerful and talented women who I admire and through the experiences and stories shared we all got inspired, learn and grow together.”
- Cristina Roncal, WWCode Guatemala member
In 2019 Women Who Code expanded its local presence dramatically by launching Networks in 11 new cities around the world. These are the following:
Charlotte, South Carolina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
St. Louis, Missouri
Salt Lake City, Utah
Other Network Highlights
- WWCode Buenos Aires already has 1000+ members! Their first event was this June.
- WWCode Cleveland had a successful relaunch, with 2 events since their relaunch in August.
- WWCode Melbourne has more than doubled in size this year! From 700 -> 1600 members.
- WWCode Silicon Valley, Manila, and LA have all had 100+ events this year.
- A New Leadership Team Was Introduced for WWCode London.
- WWCode Portland celebrated their 5th anniversary.
“Women Who Code has bolstered my career by connecting me with NY's community of women in tech. At the beginning of my career, I struggled with impostor syndrome and felt that I didn't belong in a sea of male coworkers. I attended my first WWCode event a few weeks after starting my first job. I felt extremely connected to both the women coordinating and attending the event through our shared experiences as women in a male-dominated field. I maintain some of the connections I made through my first WWCode event to this day. These connections have helped me overcome my impostor syndrome and shaped me into the software engineer I am today.”
- Hiba Mansoor, WWCode NYC member
“WWCode has had a huge impact on my career. Earlier in my career leading the Rails group in DC gave me the confidence to apply for (and get) my first job at one of our hosts, LivingSocial. Now as a director of the DC network I'm seen as a leader in the local tech community, which has led to speaking, networking, and learning opportunities that I probably wouldn't have had otherwise.”
Katherine McClintic - WWCode DC Director
Women Who Code Networks are now located in 70 cities and 20 countries and have been responsible for a total of 10,000 free events since the organization started. These groups are also the heart and soul of the WWCode Global Leadership Project, which currently has 500 tech professionals receiving advice, mentoring, and career growth opportunities as they are given the experience and support they need to reach the top level of the industry.
“WWCode is important to me because it provides me with an incentive to continue believing that women can thrive in Tech. Reading success stories on the platform of women throughout the globe who are making things happen inspires me and acts as a driving force in my life. Coming from Cameroon, where a vast majority still believes that STEM subjects, especially Technology is not a "woman's thing", this platform continues to prove to me otherwise everyday and pushes me to work harder so that one day I can as well inspire younger generations of women.”
- Daniela Tsayem, WWCode Berlin member
2019 was an exciting year for Women Who Code. We developed new programs, launched new Networks, and expanded the scope of our mission to reach even more people around the world. Together we made a real difference in the lives of engineers, and supported one another to achieve our career dreams, and change the face of tech for the better. Bolstered by this success we are moving into 2020 with ambition, excitement, and anticipation for the amazing work that we can do. Thank you all for being a part of that.