DigiGirlz is a Microsoft event that allows students to interact with Microsoft employees, managers and women in STEM to gain exposure to careers in business and technology and to get an inside look at what it's like to work in these areas. Teleios Systems Ltd was invited to be involved with this event and were represented by Rachel Yen Chong and Arianne Khadoo.
Our presentation introduced ourselves, what we do and how we got into the software development field as well as introduced the topic of software development.
Prior to our presentation, our event host, a Microsoft representative, went around the room and asked each student:
What do you want to do?
What career field(s) are you interested in?
How do you want to impact/change the world?
Surprisingly of all the girls present, only one specified technology as part of their future goals, despite some of the students studying IT as a CXC subject. It was apparent that they were largely unaware of the roles involved in Software Development. Our presentation attempted to remedy this lack of awareness and included brief descriptions of our roles showing how both business and technology career paths can work together to drive digital transformation.
Despite the short time allocated for the presentation we wanted to include something fun that the DigiGirlz could get involved with. We engaged students in an interactive programming demo in which we focused on the problem-solving aspect of development and asked students to solve a problem, by taking a large problem and breaking it down into smaller pieces and solving those pieces to arrive at the final solution.
Our demo/problem was to reproduce a piece of art:
The DigiGirlz were very receptive to the demo and participated in calling out the various elements needed to progress through the demo, starting with a simple circle and ending with the final piece of art.
We closed with providing a list of resources students could use to get started and encouraged them to approach programming in the same way we approached our demo, starting small and build up to greater things. Overall, we hope that our contribution inspired and sparked an interest in technology and software development in the DigiGirlz.
Code sample for the final piece of art can be seen here: https://codepen.io/r3i/pen/exNJoj