IT Careers for Girls

Programming

Programming languages are what we use to tell computers what to do. There are hundreds of different programming languages, and they all make you type different things to get the same result. No programming language is really better than another – they all have different strengths and weaknesses.                                                                                                                             

Conditional Expressions

Conditional expressions such as the "if...then" statement are the foundation of programming. For example, "if this thing is true, then do X but if this other thing is true, then do Y." Give it a try and see how easy it is to get the hang of it here where you will program your robot using conditional expressions to navigate an obstacle course. Exploring conditional expressions will give you the mindset to move forward to other programming and coding languages.


HTML & CSS

If you'd like to become a Web Designer, you'll need to learn HTML and CSS. HTML is the building block of the web and is the only thing that you have to have in order to make a website. It tells the computer what each part of a website is.

You know when you visit a website and see a headline and a bunch of paragraphs? A computer can tell the difference between a paragraph and a headline because each has its own HTML tag. HTML tags look like this:

<h1>This is a headline</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>

While HTML tells the browser what different parts of the page are, CSS says what those pieces should look like. If we wanted to make all of our paragraphs pink and bold, we’d do something like:

p { color:pink; font-weight:bold; }

HTML makes up the text on the page, CSS makes it pretty, and JavaScript makes it interactive (see below).

In this course at Udemy.com, you'll learn how to build your own HTML and CSS web templates. You will:

  • Build a navigation menu
  • Build a web form in HTML
  • Build a custom template which you can customize and reuse on multiple web projects

Another option is Pluralsight online learning a try where you'll learn how to design and build beautiful websites by learning HTML and CSS as well as the basic principles of design like branding, color theory, and typography which are all instrumental in the design process of a website.


Javascript

To become a  Web Developer, you'll need to add Javascript to your HTML and CSS skills. When you see your Facebook Timeline or Twitter update on a webpage, see Google autocomplete a search term, or see pop-up ads – that’s JavaScript. JavaScript is a powerful and popular language for programming on the web. 

It's created for beginners, so of course you can do it!

Ready to tackle all three? Add this course, Learn JavaScript from Scratch, to your HTML and CSS skills. You'll:

  • Learn the basics of programming with Java
  • Install and understand NetBeans environment
  • Work on several projects that provide real results

More options can be found at Code Academy.com where you can learn the most fundamental concepts in programming JavaScript. They have free projects for you to build such as Lite Brite and a Chrome Extension for JavaScript tips.


Other Programming Languages

To become a Software Engineer or Back End/Full Stack Web Developer, you'll need to add backend programming languages such as Python, Ruby on Rails, or PHP to your skill set. The "backend" is everything that happens before it gets to your browser or "frontend" (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript).

PHP

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages for the web and is commonly used by people who want to build a simple, dynamic website quickly and effortlessly. Learning PHP is good not only because it adds one more language to your skill-set, but also because roughly 80% of all websites use it now, including many Fortune 500 companies and top technology startups. 

Get your start with PHP for free at Code Academy. Once you decide you love it, really sharpen your skills with this comprehensive track from Pluralsight online learning and certification courses. 


Python

Python is a great language for beginning programmers because it's concise and easy to read. It's also a good language to add to your skill-set as it can be used for everything from web development to software development and scientific applications.

Python is a great language for beginning programmers because it's concise and easy to read. It's also a good language to add to your skill-set as it can be used for everything from web development to software development and scientific applications. 

In addition, the Python community is especially welcoming of women. Pyladies is an organization of women developers who mentor new Python lady-programmers.  

Try your hand at coding in Python at Code Academy. They have free courses for beginners to get you started.  When you're ready to move to forward, create some projects, and get certified, check out this professional course.

Check out the free copy of the book, Learn Python the Hard Way.  Don't let the name fool you. Learn Python The Hard Way takes you from absolute zero to being able to read and write basic Python. 


Ruby

Ruby is a programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Companies like Twitter, Soundcloud, Goodreads, and Kickstarter got their products off the ground with Ruby. Try Ruby at Treehouse  code school

Ruby is a programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Companies like Twitter, Soundcloud, Goodreads, and Kickstarter got their products off the ground with Ruby. Try Ruby at Pluralsight, where you can learn from over 1000 expert teachers on web design, coding, business, and much more. 

Another fun way to learn Ruby is reading “why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby” - an unusual programming book in that it includes quite a lot of strange humor, cartoon foxes, and narrative side tracks! And once you get to the Rails Girls website, you'll become addicted!


Beginning Programming All-In-One Desk Reference

In this book, you’ll find programming concepts illustrated in several different programming languages, so you’ll get a feel for the variety of languages and the needs they fill. It shows you how to decide what you want your program to do and how to turn your instructions into “machine language” that the computer understands. You’ll even get a look into various applications like database management, bioinformatics, computer security, and artificial intelligence. Soon you’ll realize that — wow! You’re a programmer!