Web Start Women launches web development classes tonight
Tonight will mark at least the third recent initiative focused on bringing women to the forefront of the technology community here in Philadelphia.
Web Start Women, a group dedicated to teaching the basics of web design and encouraging and encouraging startups, will host its first paid CSS class in South Philly, the first of four weekly classes dedicated to the subject.
Founded by University of Pennsylvania web design professor Susan Buck and psychology student Nicole Noll, the group was launched informally in April and is already building traction alongside and with local groups such as Geek Girl Dinners and TechGirlz.
Buck teaches a web development course at Penn’s Fine Arts program and has a background in multimedia arts and science, including a master’s degree in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. He also works full time at Photojojo.com, a unique San Francisco-based photo gadget shopping website.
“I’ve been in this for a while, mostly interacting with people in the field. I often have the experience of receiving an email from someone, and they assume I’m not the developer of the project. I’m often asked to pass the message on to the developer. she says, noting the disparity between men and women in technology.
What gave Buck the advantage of entering an industry where women were lacking?
“I grew up in a home where my parents made computers as accessible to me as they did to my brother,” he says. It didn’t take long for him to research HTML, he says, along with Adobe Flash and Photoshop.
Buck says groups like Web Start Women, Geek Girl Dinners and TechGirlz can start correcting the lack of role models and the presence of women in the field.
“Seeing other women doing this, seeing it as normal and not something outstanding is important,” she says.
That’s why the group doesn’t just focus on web development education; at the group’s StartLuck, a monthly meeting, and a play on Philly’s classic dish, Buck and Noll hope to encourage discussion and hold each other accountable for their ideas for startups and other initiatives.
“The more apps, women-led nonprofits, the more ubiquitous they become,” she says. The group’s second free StartLuck goes down on June 27th.
As for their first class, which will take place tonight, the group will meet at the 9th and Wharton Chi MAC dance studio. The $ 80 fee covers site and staff expenses for four weeks of class. -30-