Whether you wish to pursue technology as a career, learn a new hobby, or gain skills at your current job, consider joining Women Code Cayman, an empowering support network that introduces computer programming and software development in a friendly, non-intimidating setting.

Hosted at Cayman Enterprise City’s Strathvale House location, participants can register for a variety of courses, from free weekly workshops to 12-week courses in programming and software development; more courses will be added to the calendar in the upcoming year.

Participants should have access to a laptop and have some knowledge of web browser and performing Google searches. A basic understanding of how to create, edit and save files is also recommended, as is having some familiarity installing basic software, like Microsoft Office – but, most importantly, the determination to learn a new skill.

The Women Code Cayman initiative was launched in March 2019 with a goal to attract more women to the male-dominated tech industry, and is supported by Walkers, Cartan, The Ministry of Community Affairs and Cayman Enterprise City (CEC). It is part of Code Cayman, which also runs Youth Code Cayman.

Daria Kawecka, senior software engineer at Maples Tech and lead instructor at Women Code Cayman, cites the importance of programming.

“Programming is tied to everyday life now in obvious places like your phone to less obvious places like your home. Everyone can benefit in better understanding how technology works around us,” she says.

Daria Kawecka, an instructor at Women Code Cayman.

“Programming also trains your analytical brain. At its core, programming takes complex tasks and breaks them down into simpler parts to solve a problem.

“This logic can be used to solve everyday problems as well. Women should take advantage of the free classes not only to better understand today’s technologically charged world but to also meet others who are interested in the same,” says Kawecka.

The classes provide a broad overview of what to expect as a software developer.

“Participants do not need any previous experience or prerequisites to take part in Women Code Cayman, so we truly encourage everyone to register,” says Bianca Mora, content marketing and public engagement officer at CEC.

Bianca Mora of Cayman Enterprise City with Women Code Cayman participant Tavia Turner, who holds a certificate of completion presented at a reception in June.

“It’s an excellent initiative and Cayman Enterprise City is proud to be a part of Women Code Cayman,” she says.
Fawne Taylor is a recent participant of Women Code Cayman and says she was offered an exceptional foundation in HTML, CSS and JavaScript programmes.

“Over eight weeks, I was able to proficiently learn how to integrate coding into my current position, as well as confidently develop my own programme,” says Taylor.

Coding is currently one of the fastest growing occupations in our increasingly digitised world. Many say learning code is like learning any new language or even how to ride a bike – it’s easiest if you can start young.

Even the most menial of jobs require basic computer literacy; and requests for coding skills will grow and may be the ticket to securing well-paid jobs in the future.

Young girls who want to take advantage of learning how to code are encouraged to join Youth Code Cayman. Melissa Lim, partner at Walkers law firm and the only female director of the Blockchain Association of the Cayman Islands, says that it is important for our next generation to embrace and demystify coding.

“Walkers continues to be a big supporter of Code Cayman as it is imperative that the Cayman Islands increase and develop the tech talent pool on island to remain competitive in the offshore financial services industry,” says Lim.

Adds Mora: “Investing in yourself and your future is important and learning to code might be the easiest way to increase career development or change your career.”