Reflecting and Coding in Chicago

With 2013 winding down, I find myself thinking about whether I’m heading in the right direction in life or not (get used to it.  This happens ALL the time).  I’m 3/4 of the way into my degree (a degree which has beaten me into submission and I retaliated by whipping it into a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies) and have decided to aim for a concentration in Human Resources Development during my last 36-ish credits.  I know that HRD will help me in working with groups of people but it *feels* like such a soft skill.  Every day I am surrounded by coworkers who had hard/technical skills and I feel like it may behoove me to pick an additional one up. Yeah yeah, I can use MS Office, Google, CRMs and can pick up on most softwares, but what if i could actually *make* a software?  Or a website?  I think that moving forward in today’s world, those would be skills that are in high demand.  I have considered changing majors, but that would be a MAJOR step backwards and push the finish line out another year or so.  All of that led me to the internet (–face it, you know that Google always leaves the light on for you to return at some ungodly hour)

ImageSuper props to Grace Hopper for being one of the first female coders!

So, through my recent google searches, I have found a nifty program that may just help some people jumpstart their IT or CS career.  The program is called I.C. Stars, and they’re a non-profit who enroll people into a 4 month program (12 hours per day, 6 days per week) with a $600/mo stipend to learn coding and computer science.  For people who are driven, can afford the paycut/use the money, it seems like a really worthwhile opportunity.

Another group I am looking into is the Chicago Chapter of Girl, Develop It.  Sometimes they have events called Coffee & Code, where you’re able to show up and meet other people who code or work on code with the help of others.  I think before I show up and make a complete ass of myself, I may want to spend a few more hours on Codeacademy (if you’re on there look me up!  My handle is Lexy0923).

Ideally I whatever I do would connect me with a group of other strong women who I could swap ideas with and gain some guidance.  Have you heard of anything else locally in Chicago, or virtually accessible, and financially affordable?

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