Code-Fellows-logoIf you’re a lady and you’d like to be a Ruby on Rails developer, well, Code Fellows has something just for you.

The Seattle-based trade school today announced a new Rails Development Accelerator designed specifically for women that begins on July 7.

“Women are still greatly outnumbered by their male counterparts in the programming industry,” Kristin Smith, a former Amazon vet who just took over as Code Fellows CEO, said in a statement. “While it was once a female-dominated industry, the pendulum has swung back hard in the other direction. We’re simply looking to make the opportunity in today’s tech environment more equitable for smart women with superior programming skills.”

Similar to Code Fellows’ other programs, the new accelerator will last eight weeks and students are guaranteed a salary of $60,000 or $100,000, depending on their previous coding experience. Students will be refunded the $10,000 tuition if they don’t land a job post-graduation.

Diana Pham.
Diana Pham.

Code Fellows, which launched in January 2013, has had 82 percent of its graduates (165) receive a job offer within three months of graduating, with an average starting salary of $75,600 per year.

Another interesting stat: 18 percent of those grads have started a business. Diana Pham, for example, went on to help start Seattle-based education app maker DinoHulk after she graduated from Code Fellows’ July 2013 women-only development program.

Pham, who arrived in Seattle with $15 in her pocket, said that Code Fellows gave her newfound motivation in the workplace.

“A bootcamp at Code Fellows was exactly what I needed to harness my confidence,” she said. “After being accepted into the program, the fact that I was able to keep up with everyone in class even though I was working nights and weekends made me feel invincible.”

Pham said she didn’t notice any huge differences when taking her classes with all women vs. a mix of genders. But she realizes that having such a program will encourage other women to learn how to code.

“Even though I’ve never personally felt like I couldn’t do something I wanted because of my gender, I’ve met a lot of women who do feel affected by a gender inequality,” she said. “The fact that Code Fellows has a women-only program means they recognize that gender-inequality is real for some people and they’re willing to help fix that.”

If you’re interested, apply here.

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  • Slaggggg

    We’re either gender-blind or we’re not. How is this class not sexist?
    I think there are not enough non-Indian taxi drivers. If I have a whites only class for driving a taxi, is that OK?

    • diana pham

      If society was gender-blind then no one would feel inferior because of their gender. But the point of the matter is that there are women today who DO feel this. Whether gender inequality would be present in the classroom or not (definitely not at Code Fellows), this class allows women to pursue their dreams without worrying about any insecurities about their gender. This class is meant to address the greater goal of making the entirety of the tech field gender neutral.

      If you were a beginning dancer, wouldn’t you want to take a class with all beginners first? Then once you feel comfortable with your skills, you’d move into the general class with all levels? It’s kind of the same thing. The first goal here is for women to learn how to code. In this class, they won’t have to deal with anything they don’t need to deal with (whether it be present or not). Also, it’s not like Code Fellows doesn’t offer any other bootcamps. They offer a TON of classes that anyone can apply for.

      • balls187

        I’m all for providing an environment that encourages women to get into tech, but I think it actually can do more harm than good.

        Similar to your dancing analogy…

        I teach self defense, and and we offer a women’s only class for precisely your reasoning above.

        Eventually these women get confidence and can move to the general classes. But if you compare the performance of the women who opted for the women’s only program, with the women who jumped into the general class (and even more uncomfortably–trained with male partners), the latter group perform significantly better.

        I understand that codefellows women’s only program isn’t just about providing a “safe” place to learn to code. However, if a person feels they need to be in that type of environment to be successful, I question whether they can be as successful as someone who doesn’t.

        • diana pham

          I trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I took the women’s only class mostly due to it fitting with my schedule. It was a welcoming environment for me to learn as a beginner. I found it helped me gain a lot more confidence at the beginning because most of my training partners were on par with my own size and strength. I wasn’t discouraged when I didn’t get something right because I knew it was because it was my own technique that stopped me, not because of a guy’s strength. Once I built that self-confidence and learned the technique, I started training with guys and I knew then that skill was all that mattered. If I couldn’t take down a guy then there was something wrong with my technique not because he was a guy. It’s all a mental thing.

          It takes a lot of courage for most women to join a predominately male jiu-jitsu class. They’ve already got the mentally that they’re there to learn and they don’t care what people think. But that’s just a small fraction of women. Some want to join, but are scared of being too weak.

          So what I’m saying is if some women need a welcoming environment to get started, then there’s nothing wrong with women-only programs. The goal is to get them confident and skillful enough that there’s no distinction between a man and woman. But if women don’t feel confident enough to try, then we don’t really get to that end goal, do we?

          People change. They just need that initial boost so they can see what they’re worth. Just think of all the super shy quiet people you knew from childhood. I’m sure a lot of them have changed.

          • Slaggggg

            I’m still left confused by this.
            To justify women-only classes, you are using a manifestly verifiable physical difference — size. Women are smaller and less physically strong than men, on average … fact. To compensate for that, they need their own self defense classes. Makes sense.
            But now you say that type of accommodation should extend to an arena where women are not provably different from men … intellect.
            If women need their own class for a physical thing because they are smaller than men … doesn’t your logic then say that women need their own class for a mental thing because they are less mentally capable than men?
            That seems totally wrong to me, and I’m lost.

          • diana pham

            Nah, man. You’re taking it too literally. I wasn’t pointing out physical aspects for the comparison. Size doesn’t matter. Gender doesn’t matter. If self defense is done correctly, it will be effective on anyone regardless of size or strength. As with intellect, being smart just means you’re smart. Nothing else matters.

            Having the option of a more dedicated class allows those who need that extra support to have a place to take the initial steps into the field. For example, you could try a self defense move on a small person to get used to the technique. Then once you have the technique down, you can use the move on anyone regardless of size. That’s what the technique is for. Some people are capable of partnering up with people who are bigger or stronger than them from the get go. Others need to be on a more leveled playing field.

            So in terms of programming, the mindset and skill set is all there for anyone. Some just need to be reassured that it IS for everyone not just one gender.

  • balls187

    > We’re simply looking to make the opportunity in today’s tech environment
    more equitable for smart women with superior programming skills.

    I dig code fellows. But an 8-week camp does not make anyone a superior programmer.

    • Slaggggg

      Even if they’re using Macs ?

  • tristan_n_isolde

    Oh, geez, please DO NOT pay $10,000 for a bootcamp. Tealeaf Academy is a better option and MUCH cheaper: I recommend Learn to Program by Chris Pine and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl as self-study before attending Tealeaf Academy. A bootcamp is not a credential, and you can learn much of what you need to know on your own. Use sites like GitHub, Stack Overflow, a personal website, blog, etc. to show your knowledge and work so that you can get a job.

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