SI Scholar Mariia Sirenko: ‘Why I’m learning to code in my free time’

SI Scholar Mariia Sirenko: ‘Why I'm learning to code in my free time’
Photo: PINK Programming workshop
Mariia Sirenko, Sustainability Masters student at Malmö University, shares her experience of PINK Programming events where she has been learning how to code.
I dedicate one Sunday a month to learning how to code. Even though I am not a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics student, I found out about PINK Programming, and because I like to try new things, I gave it a go. 
Did you know that only 1 out of 10 developers are women? It is also estimated that in a few years, Sweden will be approximately short of 70,000 developers. So, how does Pink Programming relate to this? PINK is a non-profit organisation to increase the number of women who can program. By arranging free coding meet-ups, the organisation teaches IT and coding to women and transgenders,   
Photo: PINK Programming workshop
PINK events are incredibly fun. Just imagine a room full of girls, willing to learn to improve individual skills and network – what a great environment to be in! Also, once you start doing simple coding during their workshops, you understand that programming is not rocket science and that you are capable of doing it. 
Even if you are not planning on pursuing a career in IT, the events scheduled are definitely worth a visit. Every time, Pink Programming invites an inspiring female-speaker to share her journey within the tech industry. I was lucky to attend two meetings with women, who turned to IT after working with journalism and chemistry. This has made me feel empowered, that I can indeed, do anything I want. 
PINK events are also a great place to network. If you are looking for a learning partner or just new friends, you will find them at the events. Moreover, you might even network your way to a new job. Pink has partnerships with big players in the tech industry (such as Volvo, Massive or Sigma.) and the venue for events is usually provided by one of these partners. The last workshop I attended was held at Axis Communications in Lund, and it was great chatting with Axis employees. Who knows where a small talk can lead to?
Photo: PINK Programming workshop
Last but not least, participating in PINK workshops has helped me with my university assignment. As part of my Masters, I was supposed to write a research paper about Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation that would include interviews with practitioners. Inspired by my experience with PINK, I chose a social innovation as a tool to tackle female underrepresentation in the tech industry. I encourage you to attend events out of your scope of expertise and comfort zone to boost creative thinking and explore the world. It has worked for me. 
To all women wanting to code, Pink Programming holds workshops in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm.

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