This spring, three female developers, Alexandra Diracles, Melissa Halfon, and Leandra Tejedor, teamed up to get more teen girls excited about technology.
The all-women team met at a Startup Weekend Education event. As professional women in computer science, they shared a passion to level tech’s male-dominated playing field for girls and women. In their research efforts, they spoke directly to girls about:
- the disconnect they feel from computer science classes, and
- the misperceptions they hold, primarily that tech is boring.
Soon after, Vidcode was created, a coding app designed with girls in mind that pairs with a hobby girls love – creating and sharing videos.
“It works!” says Alexandra Diracles, one of the creators. “The app is already empowering teenagers and opening their eyes to how fun and creative computer science can be.”
The team has been taking Vidcode around the country, holding introductory workshops in New York City, New Orleans, and Minneapolis.
“We’re excited about Vidcode,” co-creator Melissa Halfon added. “We want to do more. We see Vidcode as the start of a suite of tech educational tools for girls.” STEM educators, take note.
Fifteen-year-old Emma is proof. She appeared to be thrilled to share her own video completed with the Vidcode software, “I love it! I coded the colors, added a blur filter and I even got my friends involved in the process.”
Sarah, 16, shared her enthusiasm, “At my school there is a class for coding filled with guys. After using Vidcode, I’m realizing something may seem complicated, but also girls can do it.”
In January of this year, Vidcode took home 1st Place Winner in New York’s Startup Weekend EDU weekend. Next is a KICKSTARTER campaign to fund development of extensive coding software and curriculum for consumers and schools. As the team continues to introduce Vidcode, one thing is clear: girls love it. The future for women in technology looks brighter already.