Women in Tech: Michelle Fox from Code for Progress

December 16, 2014

8:00 am

The Washington D.C. Metro Area is full of dozens of organizations dedicated to lowering the barrier for women and minorities in tech. DCFemTech, a collective of DC & Metro area women and minority focused organizations is launching a series of interviews with women in tech leaders to highlight their group’s mission, culture and events. The goal is to help women and minorities navigate the local tech scene to find a group that best fits their needs.

This week, we interviewed Michelle Fox, Executive Director of Code for Progress.

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Code for Progress empowers more women and people of color into the tech industry.

Code for Progress is a national non-profit that trains women and people of color to code and helps them start careers in tech. We run a year-long Fellowship that’s based in DC and we just graduated our first cohort of 11 amazing Fellows!

Favorite Fellow Quote: “I’m a coder! I will never have to work for minimum wage again!”
Our annual Fellowship had 12 Fellows in 2014, and we hope to grow it a bit in 2015, to about 15 folks. The first 5-months take place in the classroom, after which Fellows transition to full-time jobs and are supported in-person and virtually. We also run a regular community hack night where we work on projects, teach a lesson for beginners and enjoy community. Hacknight is relaxed and fun—often there are kids and food!

All of the Fellows have received job offers and are making an average of 68% more per year than they made before residency!
Our typical Fellow? Diverse! 2014 Fellows range in age from 22-56, are all genders, are LQBTQ and straight, are Black, Latin@, AAPI, and Native, come from Chicago, NY, DC, Arizona, and California.

Code for Progress lowers the barriers to entry for Fellows by covering the program cost.
We’re different. We pay all of the costs associated with the Fellowship, and pay each of our Fellows a monthly stipend, which really helps reduce barriers to entry and full participation.

Help the next generation of social activists and developers.
We LOVE our volunteers! We love guest instructors, coaches, mentors of all kinds. Space for hosting events, food sponsors, and equipment sponsors are on our wish list for 2015. Let us know if you want to help and we’ll figure out a way!

Join our next Hack Night with Mission Launch & Hear Me Code this Thursday.
“Every 24 hours 2,000 people come home from some form of correctional supervision in America” (The November Coalition, 2012). These returning citizens are funding that few other industries will employ them so the focus of this special edition Hack Night is to encourage attendance among returning citizens and their allies with Mission Launch. During this session, Shannon Turner from Hear Me Code will be teaching Python Lesson 1! RSVP to the Hack Night here and join us this Thursday.

For more information check out their website, follow @codeforprogress, reach out to michelle@codeforprogress.org and come to the next Thursday hack night!

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Stephanie is Lead Designer and co-founder of Landmark, a navigation app for walking directions based on photos of buildings and landmarks. Stephanie was a guest at Y Combinator’s prestigious Female Founders Conference and was profiled in The Washington Post. Actively involved in the DC community, she is a co-producer of the DC Tech Meetup and is actively involved in encouraging technology education and mentorship for women. Follow her on Twitter @nguyenist.

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