Django Girls Ho Workshop 2017

Django Girls Ho was the first ever IT workshop that involved ladies from Ho Volta Region and its environs in Ghana. The workshop took place at KKHub from 29th-30th September 2017. The workshop brought together 34 passionate ladies, 9 coaches, 1 meta coach, 1 photographer and 4 organizers. The primary goal of the workshop was to introduce ladies who have no knowledge in coding to experience a first-hand practice to equip themselves diligently in this our world of technology and its increasing diversity. The workshop was scheduled for two days and the activities were as followed.

Participants installing software setups for the workshop

#Day 1

Installation Session
This started at exactly 3:45pm on Friday 29th of September,2017, where the participants were taken through installing of software setups needed for the workshop. The software setup installed include:
● Python
● Git
● Visual Studio Code
● Sublime Text 3
● Notepad ++
*The last 3 applications are code editors.

After the installation of the softwares, the participants then proceeded to set up their Virtual Environment (venv) an isolated Python environment that has its own installation directories and doesn’t share libraries with other virtualenv environments.
C:\djangogirls> python -m venv <name-of-venv-DIR>
Aside that, Django Web Framework has been installed using the PIP command
(myvenv) C:\djangogirls>pip install django

We also distributed workshop materials including name-tags and T-shirts for both coaches and participants.
The day could not end without some photoshoots to capture the moment and a virtual hug #Fridayhug See pictures below:

#FridayHug distin
From the left Laura, Awittor, Verity, Anastasia, Rosemary, Emmanuel, Makafui, Irene and Stella

#Day 2

During the workshop, we had an insightful talk from Prof Di Margarete Grimus and Paul Spiesberger via Skype call. They talked to the ladies about the benefits of being a programmer, especially as women. Aside that, they also encouraged the ladies to take their programming lessons seriously.

Some questions that popped up include:
1.What makes a good programmer?
2. What motivated you to learn coding?
3. What will you do with your new skills? And many others

Some Challenges encountered
● Poor Internet Service
● Delay in installation
● Heavy downpour
● Inability of some coaches to show up (4)
● Local sponsors are unwilling to fund project like this.

How the challenges were handled
We pre-made a video tutorial of the manual which can be watched via to serve as:
1. A take away for the participants, so that they can watch it at their own pace and continue/ practice more after the workshop.
2. A plan B for any disappointment from coaches who may not have turned up during the workshop.

With regards to internet connectivity issues/ poor internet service, we had to create a hotspot on the various team tables. A mobile device (Phone) from one person on the table was used as a wireless access point for the rest of the team on that table. This reduced the traffic on the router and helped curb connectivity issues.

Training Outcome and Next Steps
More than half of the applicants has successfully hosted their blog and those who couldn’t are yet to finish up in their respective homes. Our hope is to see them succeed in this field. Follow-ups were being made to frequently check on the participants on how they were putting their newly acquired skills to use after the workshop.

I would suggest that one coach / organiser that’s good can lead the installation of the software setups during the installation session. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, the other coaches have to move from table to table just to ensure that no one was left behind.
With more resources and support from Local sponsors a lot more can be done to empower more ladies into tech.

Key Takeaways
1. You should never stop learning, because to be a programmer, you need to be dedicated.
2. Opportunities are endless when you’re good at programming.
3. You should use the knowledge you have acquired here to help other people.
4. You should always work in groups. That’s what make great programmers.

Sponsors and Partners
Django Girls Ho was funded by companies who care about diversity and creating opportunities for women. These noble organizations’ help have been paramount to our success.
PSF | Github | Travis CI | Hello Web App | Jetbrains | | Barcamp Ho | Life Mac Foundation | KKHub

Much love and appreciation to the following coaches who believe in giving back to society and increasing diversity in tech: Mannie Young | Samuel Baafi Boakye | Joey Daniel Darko | Dogbe Abigail Mesrenyame | Kafui Alordo | Michael Sedinam Korku Tenu | Nyaledzigbor Mensah Emmanuel | Saviour Gidi |Anthony Mensah Addae

Our coaches

Organizing Team
To the organizers who have worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality, I say kudos to you all. Noah Alorwu | Happy Agbetsiafa | Hope Adoli | Caroline Anani

From left Happy, Noah, Caroline, Hope

In conclusion, the turnout was great, the enthusiasm and positive spirit helped made the workshop inventive and fun.
Finally, let’s transition girls to creators, makers & doers of tech not consumers of tech.

Group Picture #DjangoGirlsHo

#DjangoGirlsHo was Djangolicious!

Thanks for reading.

Software Engineer / UI Designer / PSF Fellow / DSF Member / Community Builder / Wikimedian In Residence

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