Women programming together at the Pink Programming Data Science Camp in Åre earlier this year. Photo: Pink Programming
“That's a record, even for us, so we're really excited,” Alice Larsson, the Managing Director and sole paid employee of Malmö-based campaign group Pink Programming, told The Local.
“It really shows that there is an interest among women in knowing about programming. We just know that there needs to be a forum where they can try it.”
The rapidly sold-out event at King comes at the same time as a Malmö-based female entrepreneur is launching a new recruitment service aimed exclusively at getting female and non-binary programmers jobs at gaming and IT companies.
Some 300 women have already registered themselves with Unicornia Collective, Anna Felicia Valdés, the recruitment service's founder, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.
“The number registered has been growing steadily by about 10 percent every week,” she said. “The intermediary service is just a part of what we want to do. I want to build a community, focus on workshops and work with members.”
More than 4,000 women have attended the boot camps or Programming Sundays organized by Pink Programming since it was set up by three female developers in September 2015.
Founder Vanja Tufvesson, who works as back-end developer for Malmö health start-up Engaging Care, told The Local that the project has recently begun to show results.
“Now we've been around for three years, we're reaping the rewards,” she said. “People are contacting us saying 'hey, I've just got my first development job', or people are saying, 'thanks for getting me interested, now I'm studying.”
Vanja Tufvesson (left) and Alice Larsson (right), the co-founder and Managing Director of Pink Programming. Photo: Emmanuel Orduna
Tufvesson had the idea for Pink Programming together with Tone Pedersen, whom she met while studying Engineering and Mathematics at Lund University.
“When I finished studying she was the only other female developer that I knew, and I'm a social person,” Tufvesson told The Local.
The two then found Stockholm developer Vibeke Tengroth through contacts, and the three together led the group's first bootcamp, where women interested in programming met up in a country house to socialize, cook, swim, and learn to code.
“It was just supposed to be a fun, one-time thing during the summer,” Tufvesson said. “We rented a house and we thought 'let's hope ten people turn up'. And then it got fully booked in a week and we had about 100 people on the waiting list.”
Pedersen got her then employer Volvo to fund the project, and the group now also gets financial backing from Axis Communications and Sigma, among other companies.
As well as its Sunday events, the group has held seven camps so far this year.