Being at Django Girls, Minna

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I am Agbo Amarachi, a DIY queen, Philomath, Computer Engineer (by major), tech enthusiast and recently a development sector worker with Aspilos Foundation in Minna, Niger State. I happen to be the team lead on the AboCoders project. Not quite long ago, I had the privilege of participating as a student in the one-day workshop organized by Django Girls Minna on the 10th of September in Minna, Niger State (obviously). Before I go on to tell of my wonderful experience at Django Girls Minna (which I am very excited about), I would throw a little light on what Django Girls is all about for the benefit of those who are in the dark.

Django Girls is a non-governmental organization that empowers and helps women organize free one-day workshops across the world on the Python programming language and the Django web framework. The organization, established in July 2014 in Berlin, aims at incorporating more women into the technology field while providing them with resources, tools and support. Django girls came to Nigeria, Lagos to be precise, in February 2016 and since then the program has been held in other cities such as Port Harcourt, Ogbomosho, Ota, Ife and Minna.

I got wind of the event from the organizer, Mary Aloghena who informed the AboCoders team of the Django Girls Minna workshop and the details of the event. She notified us that there would be a pre-installation party the day before the workshop at 2pm at the New Horizons College, Minna. Though we were quite late to register, she graciously made provisions for us to register on the portal. After a successful registration, everyone was assigned a coach and I made haste to contact mine as his email address was provided. My coach turned out to be awesome as he replied warmly and promptly expressing how eager he was to meet me and impart knowledge to me.

Did I mention I am a rookie when it comes to Python and Django? The closest I have come to programming is writing sequential codes in C, needless to say, I felt quite overwhelmed and enthusiastic at the same time regarding the workshop. I mean, I get to build my first website.

The day of the workshop came and the whole team was eager to get to the venue but the precious Minna rain delayed us. We arrived quite late but just in time to catch the sumptuous breakfast which we ate hurriedly to meet up with the others. I met my coach and the other two girls in my team and they all seemed to be in high spirits. After I set up my laptop, my coach led me through the installation of the applications for the workshop as I did not make the pre-installation party.

Following a brief speech from the organizer, the workshop began in earnest and all the girls were in full ‘programmer mode’. Not one to be left out, I joined in on the action and my knowledgeable coach led me through the building and launching of my first website. Though some bugs tried to discourage me, I pressed on. Seeing all the girls in the workshop and their dogged determination inspired me to follow through to the end. It was quite a worthwhile experience as I learnt a lot.

This is what programmers look like. Spot me at your extreme right, I am probably the tallest in this group of coaches and ‘coachees’, can’t miss me *winks*

The workshop came to an end sadly but it was worth every time spent. The highlight of the workshop for me was the amazing cupcakes at the end of it all. Just kidding. The real highlight was that I got to meet amazing ladies with a genuine interest in technology. Hopefully, I will be part of the team that will be organizing Django Girls Abuja next year. Django Girls rock!!

Editor’s Note: Djang Girls indeed rock but can I just say that AboCoders rocks more and paper and scissors too! (Yes, we like being ‘petty’ like that). Hmmn, I think we need to start serving the girls we train some cupcakes too, maybe more of them will catch Amara’s excitement if we do so. 

 

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