Continuing our discussion on the immense resources and support for women in tech in Philadelphia, we interviewed Yasmine Mustafa, the founder and co-organizer of Girl Develop It Philadelphia to learn about what makes Philadelphia a great place for women in tech.
Yasmine: I would say the women in tech community in Philadelphia is unique in that we’re involved. Looking at Girl Develop It Philly, we’re the second largest tech group in the area with over 1,300 members which is impressive considering [women in tech are] supposed to be a minority. I see our students giving back by coaching people next to them in class or coming back as TA’s. Finally, the enthusiasm for learning is there and it’s wonderful to see.
Y: I just blogged about this here: www.myasmine.com/philly-ladies-tech-step-up. I’d love to see more women take on leadership roles by organizing tech events or speaking at conferences. I’m seeing the same faces and roster everywhere I turn. There’s a tremendous opportunity to see more women take on more active roles in being mentors to other women by setting an example and walking the walk.
Y: I also talk about this in the same blog post. Go to tech meetups, contribute to the discussions, get up and present, write or respond to blog posts, etc. In all, asserting themselves in the community and making themselves seen and heard.
Y: For GDI in general, we’re launching seven tracks to help beginner, intermediate and advanced developers increase their technical proficiency. Everything from business and design, to front-end, back-end and mobile development and data. We’re capturing every element of getting and improving a developer’s skillset.
Y: This is a difficult question because I don’t know enough about other cities to compare Philly. I will say that from what I’ve heard, we seem to have a more supportive community which aligns with our slogan (City of Brotherly Love). For a snapshot of what it special for some people, check out Philly Love Notes – it’s a great blog that captures unique perspectives from residents themselves.