Bandung, Indonesia (also known as the Paris of Java) has transformed over the years from a small idyllic town into a bustling metropolitan area with living space for more than 2.5 million people. Currently, 6,965,655 people live there, and it’s no surprise that education is paramount to the country’s growth.
More people are needed in the burgeoning IT sector if the country wants to stay ahead of the economic curve. So, what are they doing about this issue? The answer can be found at ProCodeCG.
Simple Solutions through Education
ProCodeCG is an organization with a laser-like focus on providing training and education for those who want to learn how to code. Founded by Marisa Paryasto, the organization works hard to bring technical education to those who may not be able to get it otherwise—primarily children and women.
Paryasto reports that recently, and with much excitement, the government funded a new class called “Coding Mum.” The idea is to give mothers who are typically at home to raise children the opportunity to join the workforce from their home computers. Coding presents this opportunity.
This idea may sound a bit surprising to some readers, but according to Paryasto, technology is a very crucial need—especially programming. “I have seen lots of companies having difficulties hiring programmers and IT experts. They often have to import programmers, yet lots of local people are having problems getting jobs,” she explains.
Her desire is to help give the country more than enough developers to choose from. “In Indonesia, women have just started to pursue higher education and careers,” reports Paryasto. She herself holds a PhD in electrical engineering and also teaches at several universities.
“However, there are very few women interested in engineering and technology,” she says. Paryasto is making it her life’s mission to ensure more females will catch up and reduce the disparity in 5 to 10 years.
Teaching Mum to Code (Solving for the Immediate Need)
Where exactly did this idea come from? It seems like something that could be used worldwide. Certainly, North America struggles with this same issue, but the message is oftentimes that women must choose between a career and a family. Or, at the very least, one must do some serious sacrificing to have both. And, that’s just the way it is.
But, what if a woman could more easily find balance between caring for her family and having a career? Here’s an answer so simple it’s startling.
“We have these potential resources: full-time mums that can be educated and then work from home to earn money while also taking care of their families. After only 15 sessions of training with Coding Mum, companies can start hiring these women,” explains Paryasto.
But Coding Mum classes are more than just about teaching skills and fulfilling a need. It’s also about creating more role models for young girls. “As more women become aware of their capabilities and talents, more will pursue higher degrees and careers—including in technology. And these women will encourage other women to do the same,” reports Paryasto.
Many believe that if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. So, how would a young girl even aspire to be a coder if she doesn’t see any women role models in this field?
“Some of ProCodeCG parents have told me that they want their daughters to have coding skills that empower them to be confident and proud women in IT, just like their teachers. I also witness that more women are becoming founders of IT startups, and that inspires others to follow in their footsteps,” says Paryasto.
Teaching Kids to Code (Solving for the Future)
“I’m passionate about creating a better future for this nation through the education of children,” she says. “Because of my technical education and my admiration of children, I started ProCodeCG as a community organization to give kids coding and information technology literacy.”
When she started the kids coding camps, she didn’t expect them to be as successful as they are. “One of our biggest achievements so far is that we have been able to maintain a regular kids coding class for more than a year and have taught more than 45 kids computer skills and programming languages,” says Paryasto. She explains that the kids even want to keep going after the prescribed time, so the classes continue.
The concept of ProCodeCG is to teach kids not only technical skills, but also leadership, sharing and teamwork. So what we do in class is encourage them to share what they know with each other, and let them teach in front of the class.
With ProCodeCG teaching both leadership and coding skills to children and women, Bandung, Indonesia can expect a surge in ready to hire candidates now and in the future.
When asked about the type of technology Paryasto and her team uses, she mentions GitKraken—a new Git client for Windows, Mac and Linux.
“One member of our team introduced us to GitKraken a few weeks ago because we had problems monitoring Git activities during the Coding Mum class. It is very useful! It has a great GUI design and the features really help us to work more efficiently,” reports Paryasto. “Its drag and drop feature helps those who are not familiar with using Git with the command line.”
As the creators of GitKraken and the #ItWasNeverADress campaign, we were delighted to discover Marisa Paryasto’s story. Similarly to Paryasto, we are focused on creating tools that empower all people to develop software.
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