Last Friday night, a group of Adobe San Francisco women designers and developers stayed after hours to welcome the Girls Who Code Club from Lowell High School in San Francisco. Girls Who Code (GWC) is a non-profit organization with the mission to “educate, inspire, and equip young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields.” GWC is well known for its summer immersion camps but the organization is now piloting after-school clubs to expand its reach and offer more learning opportunities to young women.
The GWC club members, along with tutors Pamela Fox, a programming educator at Khan Academy, and Steve Garrity, chief technology officer at Hearsay Social, boarded a school bus, braved commuter traffic, cold, and rain to make their way to Adobe. As soon as they arrived, we offered them some food and refreshments before getting started with a packed agenda and the sharing of experiences by Adobe designers and developers.
The evening kicked off with a presentation by Rebecca Hauck, one of Adobe’s computer scientists, about Test the Web Forward, an open web platform testing resource. Rebecca talked about making the web better one test at a time. Up next was Sarah Alley, a Client Engineering manager, who showed how Adobe takes a design to production. She also explained how the many individuals on her team came from a variety of backgrounds and now have successful careers in web development.
Ming-En Cho, an Adobe senior experience design developer, was on hand to showcase a few experimental applications she’s been working on. To mix things up, senior computer scientist, Winsha Chen, gave these young women a demonstration on Chuck, a programming language used for real-time sound synthesis and music creation.
The event culminated with a hands-on presentation by Lily Khong, senior experience designer developer, who shared Adobe’s Project Context room. Project Context facilitates in-person collaboration, content reviews, and instant natural file sharing, via multiple larger and mobile connected screens. The GWC club members had the opportunity to simulate a content review session by moving around images from screen to screen.
From the feedback we received, these young women definitely left feeling inspired and motivated about the vast opportunities in technology and engineering fields.
In support of GWC’s mission, the Adobe Foundation provided a $50,000 grant out of its Creativity Grants program towards GWC’s summer immersion and computer club programs. Adobe employees have also been active with GWC in other sites as well, notably the New York office, where Adobe employees have spoken at GWC events and provided mentorship to some program participants.
Blog post contributed by JuLee Burdekin, content strategist for web platform at Adobe.