We’re reading ‘Girls Who Code (Learn to Code and Change the World)’ by Reshma Saujani at the moment, the first book to be published by the U.S.-based Girls Who Code, an organisation that’s attempting to close the gender gap in the technology sector in the United States.
It provides a good background to the fundamentals of coding, describes how coding fits into the wider software development life cycle, and explains how coding can be used to solve problems, all in a very accessible and readable way. It’s told with humour, with cartoon-style graphics throughout. The book gives a potted history of computers and computing, highlighting the (sometimes forgotten) place of women in the history of computer science and digital technology. The examples and practical applications of coding have been well chosen to be relevant and interesting to young people, particularly girls, but it (thankfully) avoids the pitfall of ‘all girls like pink fluffy unicorns’ one-size-fits-all stereotyping.
It isn’t meant to be a guide on how to code in any particular language. In fact I’d be amazed if anyone new to coding could actually write more than a few lines of code after reading it, but as inspiration and background reading it’s great. Used in conjunction with other more practical coding books, online resources, coding clubs such as CoderDojo Scotland or personal tutors such as ourselves, it’s a really interesting read that I’m sure would be popular with many girls and young women who are thinking of taking their first steps into coding.