Meet Sara Chipps and Vanessa Hurst, the co-founders of Girl Develop It, an international organization, certified by the Board of Education that provides affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn how to code. By teaching women with diverse backgrounds to learn software development, Girl Develop It strives to help women improve their careers and confidence in their everyday lives.
Sara and Vanessa founded Girl Develop It in June 2010 after discovering their mutual passion for science and technology, and the desire to affect change in regard to gender parity in their field. “We are committed to making sure women of all ages, races, education levels, income, and upbringing can build confidence in their skill set to develop web and mobile applications,” they explain on their website.
Sara and Vanessa, referred to by their peers as “goddesses of technology”, are not new to this game. Sara, a self-proclaimed “keyboard cowgirl”, has been building software for over 10 years. While leading Girl Develop It she also has the role of Chief Technology Officer at The Levo League, a social good startup designed to elevate young women in the workforce. Named by Mashable as one of 15 Developer/Hacker Women to Follow on Twitter, Sara somehow also finds time to blog all things tech at SaraJChipps.com.
Vanessa strongly believes that every person should be empowered to use technology to make the world a better place. She started Girl Develop It to provide judgment-free learning opportunities with a focus on results, and to support women teaching and learning from one another. She’s a lifetime Girl Scout, a teacher, and a passionate supporter of open source software. Vanessa is currently building her new project, CodeMontage, to help people improve their software skills while improving the world. She also founded and organizes Developers for Good to connect technologists who want to use their skills to make an impact with organizations that need help.
Both of these Women You Should Know continue to demonstrate their commitment to creating opportunities for women to learn code, “Because we think that the development community could use a few more ladies.” As do we.