The Last Day Of Work!

To all the mentors and mentees, yesterday was the last day, yes you heard it right, the very last day of the program.

We have been amazed and humbled by the work done and efforts put in by each one of you. The journey was made rewarding by witnessing the growth in knowledge and confidence undergone by all.

The mentees – We are proud of your desire to learn and that you had the courage to see it through by working hard the past 12 weeks. We hope you will take back fond memories and continue to work on your projects. Perhaps we will see some of you as mentors in our upcoming editions.

The mentors – You enabled us to make this program a success. Your dedication has empowered minds to take on self challenges and grow into more productive individuals. We hope the bond formed will be lasting and you will continue to be a source of guidance for the mentees.

The final evaluation forms have just been sent out, fill them up! The passing mentors and mentees will receive their diplomas next month.

Continue to follow our activities on Facebook and Twitter and write to us if you have any questions!

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Dig In, Get Comfortable.

We are finishing the fourth week of the Second Edition of “Learn IT, Girl!” Wow, that is some progress and a dream for us on the organizers team. Seeing the enthusiasm to teach and learn, we are glad to be able to provide a platform that acts as a bridge for both these desires.

Now that we are already here, in our process of learning and teaching, let’s make the most of this opportunity. Let us make the most out of this and not be held back by anything. Believe it or not but something as small as hesitation might be holding us back from a wonderful experience and we won’t even be aware. So let us talk about that. This is especially for the mentees who are making their first attempt at undertaking a technical project. We applaud your efforts already! The first project we do always gets more bugs than are fair for one project but don’t you worry, we are here and these are our two cents on the approach to be taken:

 

No question is stupid!

We have been told this since elementary school and it still holds good. So it doesn’t matter where you are stuck, the error could be as small as a typo (that happens more often than you think). Whatever problem you have, search for it, Stack Overflow will surely come to your rescue and you won’t feel alone in having that problem. And if you still don’t find it, ask your dear mentors. They are happy to help but be patient in your queries. And most of all, don’t hesitate!

Don’t Quit.

Everything at once is overwhelming and we are aware of that. But perseverance will get you there. Stuck on a problem for hours? Don’t worry, sleep on it, things will be clearer in the morning. And if they are not, start over from the beginning. It might happen that things suddenly start working and you will never know what the bug was (insider secret 😉 ).

Don’t Pressurize Yourself.

The 12 week time-line of this program is not an ultimatum to produce a marvel. The whole purpose was to introduce and initialize enthusiasts into a topic they wanted to study. And if you walk away with a feeling of having learned something, our job is done. Build a small functioning application in the given time (so we have something to evaluate) and you are free to build that project further after the program.

 

A small tip for the mentor:  You are there to help, but make sure your mentee doesn’t feel reservations in contacting you. The regular inquiries for updates have your good intentions at heart but your mentee might feel embarrassed when the progress is not significant. Make them feel comfortable, make yourself warm and welcoming. We know our mentees are in good hands!

Wishing all our members happy coding hours and hope to see what has been brewing in the kitchens during the mid-term evaluations!

Getting Down To Work : First Week in Review

The much awaited second edition of “Learn IT, Girl!” kicked off this week and everyone involved was pleasantly surprised and inspired by the amount of participation seen, a huge amount of mentors and mentees applied with 161 successfully matched pairs. The process was perhaps not so smooth for a few participants and every attempt was undertaken to fix all issues and ensure a memorable experience.

On to the first week, a week full of excitement and introductions, a time to get to know each other! For some these interactions transcended borders and time zones, perhaps setting off a butterfly effect for community building. This post focuses on what the mentees were up to as they are the whole purpose of this program, the entire endeavor is paid off if the applicant walk off with their sack of knowledge a little bit heavier from when they began.

The languages and projects we see are as diverse as the participants themselves, with languages varying from Java, Python, C++, JavaScript, Ruby, C# , Swift and Php. The projects are ambitious and innovative. Some test the waters as beginners while others aim at head on tackling of complex implementations.

We have projects based on Data Encryption System, Artificial Intelligence and Search Engines and we have high hopes to see the results upon completion.

A particular project that caught our attention is MyVoc by Joanna that aims to create a user made dictionary of words that aims to improve your vocabulary and provide point system to keep you motivated.

It seems as if many of our mentees feel the need of the fun element in projects (and we couldn’t agree more!) so have decided to work on games ranging from theme of Chess, Pong, Maths (yes that can be fun too) , Tic Tac Toe and a project that brings a much loved memory game played when young to the electronic dimension.

It’s not all play in our mentee workshop with many utilities applications coming up like Mood Tracker, Electronic Bookshelf,  Appointment Maker and a Healthy Life Organizer all aiming to make our lives just a little more sorted and productive.

The air smells fresh, spirits run high as a journey (quest perhaps) for knowledge is undertaken by the enthusiastic mentees. There will be a lot to learn about programming and themselves in the weeks to come and it will all conclude in about three months time! Wishing everyone the very best, may you work to the best of your abilities and enhance them further!

The “Learn IT, Girl” team