Last Friday and Saturday we hosted a ClojureBridge workshop at our office in downtown San Francisco. ClojureBridge is an offshoot of RailsBridge, an organization started in 2009 by Sarah Mei and Sarah Allen with the goal of moving the demographics of people making technology to better reflect the diversity of the people who use it.
ClojureBridge, RailsBridge, and the other organizations that now fall under the umbrella of Bridge Foundry are essentially an open source set of guidelines and curricula that help people organize learn-to-code workshops targetted at groups whose representation in our industry doesn’t match the demographics of our society at large. Because we use Clojure and ClojureScript as our primary development languages, helping organize an event to grow the Clojure community was a no-brainer for us, and we’re very happy with the result.
At this weekend’s ClojureBridge, we opened our doors to women, and we specifically and enthusiastically welcomed women with little or no programming experience. Twenty five women and men who came as guests of women spent Friday evening and all day Saturday working with a crew of 15 volunteer teachers and teaching assistants working through introductory programming materials. Despite plenty of logistical snafus and some bugs in the latest version of the development environment we used for the class, feedback was very good - participants came away from the workshop excited to learn more and connected to a community of mentors and peers.
We’re thrilled to continue working with ClojureBridge to organize beginner and intermediate workshops for women and other groups underrepresented in the tech industry. If you’re interested in participating or helping us run a ClojureBridge event in the future, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.