On the BBC there is a mini series called ‘Girls Can Code’ which follows several girls as they consider whether thee is a business idea they want/ can develop using technology.
The title is clearly a misnomer, and borderline offensive, you might as well call it ‘Girls Can Drive’. Indeed we know first hand they can code with our team on design, developing (coding), copy-writing and project management.
Teenagers Understanding Technology
In fact it would be better to call it ‘Do teenage girls understand how the technology industry works/ have an understanding or interest in developing something?’. A bit snappier is ‘Do Girls Want To Code’ but then if you took some teenage boys you’d probably get the same result.
Thankfully it seems the answer is ‘Yes’, though the ideas are -of course- reflective of their age and lack of experience. A couple of the girls really get in touch with what they care about – we’re particularly interested in Skip Tracker and the alternative means of learning.
To its credit the program does cover that there’s a lot more to just having an idea. Indeed most of the focus isn’t people coding (which they found boring/ makes boring TV) but coming up with an idea which hits the ‘how many people want it’, ‘how much money can you make’, etc.
Why Don’t They Understand?
Probably wider than the tech industry you could say that teenagers have a limited understand of business and what really happens/ the opportunities. Of course the program’s opportunities can’t be available to all, but some kind of work experience and business people coming into school sharing seems key.
While we’ve taken on an apprentice for a year and train up our team we haven’t gone into schools or taken up other opportunities (aside from a little mentoring) but there is a limit to how much time you can ‘give back’. And of course an industry isn’t in place to teach the young but broadly to make money.
Girls Do Code
Anyway, hopefully we can all agree Girls Can Code and the question is really Can We Help?
If you’re still not convinced, check out Ada Lovelace – she published the first computer program even before it was built. If you’ve got time check out BBC/Open University’s excellent programme about Ada’s passion and struggle.