Meet the women paving the way for the next generation of coders

There is a gap of data scientists and engineers in the market today, and as technology moves at a rapid pace it is critical to start meeting today the needs of tomorrow. That means starting to get children, particularly girls, interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.

According to the Pew Research Center, women made up 44.5% of the overall workforce in 2010, but just 25% of mathematical and computer scientists and 12.7% of engineers. Last year, theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, interviewed several women who are paving the way to create the next wave of technology professionals. These are just a few of the #WomeninTech educators theCUBE talked to.

Coding is cool

Adriana Gascoigne, CEO and founder of Girls in Tech, Inc.

Gascoigne joined theCUBE at IBM InterConnect 2016 to shed light on how to induce young girls into the "STEAM" (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) subjects and show them how coding IS cool.

"Girls in Tech was one of the first women in tech organizations that existed in Silicon Valley. Specifically, the more cutting-edge participants are women coders. And so, it is really exciting to see the growth and demand, not only in the United States but around the world.

"I feel that now that more women are getting into coding and really experimenting with different coding languages, it's actually seen as cool. You know they are getting really excited about it, so you have product marketers and product designers actually learning more about Ruby on Rails, because one, they learn how to do it themselves, and, two, they want to understand what their counterparts are working on so they can better understand the product in total.

"I think it's this sort of wave of excitement where, ‘I can do it too' and ‘It's not as hard as everyone thinks,' and now everyone's a part of this coding party sharing resources and collaborating."


Linking to learning

Sarah Clatterbuck, director of engineering: platforms, women in tech and accessibility at LinkedIn Corp.

Clatterbuck spoke with theCUBE at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women event in 2015 about her initiatives at LinkedIn to draw students onto the "work campus" to give them a real-world experience.

"In our LinkedIn Women in Tech program, we've been working on one track called Community. Essentially, our vision is to inspire more young women to study computer science, and so we invested a lot in that program. This year I've been leading that track, and we tried something kind of innovative where we had a high school trainee program; the hypothesis was if they came on campus, spent a few month with us in technology, like having that experience of a tech company, they would be more likely to study computer science in the future.

"The summer program … it was a pilot program, and we had really great results. We actually have OKRs or objectives, key results for our Women in Tech program, and the things we were measuring were: What's the NPS score for the cohort and what percentage go on to study STEM generally? And what percentage go on to study computer science specifically? And we knocked it out on all of those metrics."


Creating the next generations of programmers

Lynn Langit, Big Data and cloud architect at Lynn Langit Consulting

Langit stopped by theCUBE during Amazon re:Invent 2015 to share how she helps children understand the importance of the cloud and technology.

"There is a disconnect between what is happening in our schools and what is happening in the real world. What we've done is taken something old and made it new again. We took the ‘logo' kind of implementation, and we combined it with Agile and XP practices to make it consumable and fun. What that does is feeds kids into the AP Java class, because they need computational thinking now.

"We augment that with cool things like Electric Imp, which uses the squirrel language, so we can add the two together to make it fun. The Java helps them because it's the biggest language out there, and it's what is taught in school."