Earlier this year, a friend of mine told me that he teaches a Girl Develop It class in Cincinnati.

What’s Girl Develop It?

Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their everyday lives.

I said, “John, teach me how to code!”

He said, “I live in Cincy, and you live in Raleigh. Take a local class.”

Take a class? What? I don’t know, man. I was worried about going back to school to learn about “the computers,” as my Gramma might say. Beyond feeling ancient and totally unprepared to sit in a classroom for more than a few hours, I worried that I might not understand technical concepts or jargon. I didn’t want to publicly embarrass myself.

But then I went on my retreat, a few weeks ago, and decided that I needed to learn something different. I am a little tired of HR technology and marketing. I also decided that quitting something before I start — or not starting at all — is just as bad as failing.

So I took my friend’s advice and signed up for a UX class in Durham.

You know what? The experience was outstanding. (Of course. Nobody is shocked.) The coursework was accessible. (UX is a lot like marketing.) And I wasn’t the oldest person in the room. (Not that it matters, but whatever, you get me.)

I am glad my friend gently pushed me out of my comfort zone. More importantly, I’m glad Girl Develop It exists for people like me: a woman who is sick of watching too much TV and wants something different for herself.

I’m not looking for a career change, but at this point, I’m ready for more classes!


  1. I’m a coder myself, and whenever I see a lady behind a computer, writing any form of software, I’m blown away (I really can’t explain why.) More women should become coders. Thumbs up Laurie!

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