We Need Your Books!

The 2012 inaugural Girls Who Code summer program is here! This morning 20 enthusiastic girls arrived to the welcoming doors and bright orange walls of AppNexus in midtown Manhattan. And while some conference rooms at AppNexus are named after monsters, others are superheros and scientists, and this summer Sir Issac Newton has generously opened his doors to house a group of ravenous female coders even the Hulk can’t hold back. 

These 20 girls not only have an unquenchable desire to learn, but are also incredibly diverse and unique, representing over 12 different ethnicities, and hailing from all five boroughs and even northern New Jersey.  We have aspiring engineers, computer programmers, doctors, forensic scientist, animators, architects, teachers and even future business women that want to travel the world. These girls all strive to better their community, and the world around them; and many, at age 15 are striving to figure out what they can do. 

Independent-minded and strong willed, these girls are hungry to learn more in every way that they can. We have many girls who have recently immigrated to the U.S from countries such as Senegal, Yemen, and Bangladesh. Some already know three languages and are now braving a few more — programming languages. 

And while these 20 girls come from distinctly different backgrounds and cultures there are  a few traits that they do share. Each of their teacher references praises these girls for their hard work and commitment, their eagerness to learn and to understand, and many a time, their love for reading. And in reading their applications we came across countless numbers of applicants saying they spent their last summer at the library. As one teacher writes about her Girls Who Code student;  ”Voracious doesn’t begin to describe her reading habits”. 

In response, Girls Who Code has decided to put together a bookshelf. Many of our book-loving coders are traveling from the far ends of the Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, where a 1.5 hour commute is more than ordinary. We want to provide them with some classic computer science/ technology reads that will not only engage but also inspire and introduce them to different ideas in STEM. We welcome any donations, with particular interest to the following books, and any suggestions to other good reads, especially those starting with Chapter 0. 

  • Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing, Alan Fisher and Jane Margolis
  • Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing, Jane Margolis
  • By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop, Alexis Maybank
  • The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Gayle Lemmon
  • Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness After the Digital Explosion, Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry Lewis