Last week, Thoughtworks graciously hosted Women Who Code, a global non-profit that aims to inspire women to excel in the tech industry. About 25 women coders convened at the Thoughtworks San Francisco office on a Monday evening to whiteboard, learn algorithms, and network, as part of the Algorithms and Interview Prep study group.
This meetup featured a “choose-your-own-adventure” format, which allowed the attendees to spend up to two hours practicing a specific skill. Ana Rodrigo kicked off the event by giving a quick talk to introduce the company and its values, followed by an inspiring story on how she became a technologist. Then, infused with energy and motivation (and the instruction to make the most of their evening), attendees broke off into smaller groups based on their chosen adventure.
One track offered collaborative lecture viewing and discussion. Participants covered a segment of a Coursera algorithms course, which, this week, was on breadth first search in graph theory, and shared their thoughts on newly learned concepts. Audience members rotated each week to lead this breakout session.
Another track simulated the job interview experience. Whether they wanted to improve their soft skills or their technical chops, coders picked challenges from suggested websites and worked through them with at least one like-minded person. The technical problem-solving practice came in the form of solving common interview challenges on a whiteboard; the women separated by language and gradually populated their respective boards with code.
The evening wrapped up with newfound acquaintances exchanging contact information and praising one another for good work. The goal of this Women Who Code meetup is to provide a welcoming place to learn and foster discussion. We were thrilled to be hosted by an enthusiastic company who generously donated space, audio and visual equipment, plethora of whiteboards, food and drinks, along with a top-of-her-game assistant to keep things running smoothly, and we look forward to more events at Thoughtworks.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.