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Serial Entrepreneur: Codementor Can Help Attract More Women to Coding

–  Aug 25, 2014
Alicia Morga, one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology
Alicia Morga is a serial entrepreneur based in San Francisco.  She is the founder & CEO of No. 8 Media, and previously founded Consorte Media, a digital media company focused on the Hispanic market which was acquired in 2010.  
Alicia advises numerous start-ups, and has served on the boards of technology companies.  Fast Company named her as one of 2011’s Most Influential Women in Technology and Women 2.0 named her as one of 2014’s Nine Must-Watch Women of Color Who are Rocking the Tech Startup Scene.
Alicia Morga has also developed iPhone apps Gainful and gottaFeeling.  Gainful provides daily professional development and coaching for employees and entrepreneurs. GottaFeeling allows users to identify, express and manage feelings and emotions.  

I’m an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. I’m just technical enough to be dangerous – all self-taught and I believe I should know what developers are doing. So I often take on parts of the tasks and try to learn. I was drawn to Codementor because I thought it could support my learning – not necessarily do the work for me.

The Challenge

I have been building one of my projects using Parse.  One day I was trying to extract data out of the Parse API using cUrl via the command line on windows 7.  I wanted to set up an automated call of the API so I can download the data for custom analytics.  I was looking for a way to get an entire dump of the data without having to call each class separately using cUrl in the command line.  I saw this as an opportunity to try out the services of Codementor at the time, so I signed up and was connected with one of the mentors.

Enter Codementor

My Codementor, Eugene, took a look at my issue with Codementor’s screen sharing via TeamViewer and actually saw how the Parse setup was the source of my problem.  He showed me how I could get around the system and achieve my goal. I learned more about APIs and cURL along the way, and I love how the mentors can see your work and quickly address issues while they teach you things.

With Codementor I can code a discreet project and when I run into issues that a Google search or Stackoverflow doesn’t address, I can turn to another developer.  It’s the best of peer learning – you’re the one driving, but have a coach in your ear helping you.

Codementor Can Help Attract More Women to Coding

I think a lot of women are more technical than they think they are and they just need a little help when they get stuck.  All the tech jargon can be intimidating and the getting-started process can seem like a high barrier.

Women, in general, are cautious about failing (the “good girl/good student syndrome”). However, coding is all about failing and learning. Women are great learners, and if women can overcome the fear of failing, they will do very well.

I think Codementor can make an impact by attracting more women to the profession.  Codementor can help women who are new to coding address their questions, no matter how basic, in real-time without the attendant feelings of fear or embarrassment. It’s really cool to get questions you think are dumb (they’re not) answered and learn that coding is mostly making mistakes and finding answers – which is something anybody can do, especially if they have mentors!

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