The Objective: 50% Female Programmers within a Decade

Tamar Viclizki is the Founding Director of the She-Codes office at Bar-Ilan University, aiming to make the world of programming more accessible to women

Tamar Viclizki (25), an undergraduate student of Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, is co directing (along with Lilach Edri) the She-Codes branch at Bar-Ilan University. She-Codes aims to make software development more accessible to women. “During my studies I felt like I was professionally blocked, since the courses I took were very basic, and I was looking for a platform to help me advance myself as a programmer,” she remembers. “I heard about She-Codes from Lilach, who is also studying with me, and at first I would travel to other offices of She-Codes, since they have over 30 branches across the country, but not at Bar-Ilan. Lilach and I realized it was up to us to create one.”

The Bar-Ilan She-Codes branch was opened in August 2016, and offers three study tracks – the Web Track – website development; the Python Track – programming language; and the Android Application Track – application development. Each track includes about 30 preset classes studied online, interactively and individually. Once a month, we open a new track. New women join, and receive support from the more experienced students. The organization also offers lectures, activities and networking. “Since there are many women in this community, there is a lot of support and encouragement alongside professional advancement and learning,” says Viclizki. “Unfortunately, many women are still hesitant to apply to study hard sciences. It may be the limitations dictated by social norms, or the psychological barriers, which we are working on releasing. Our objective is to arrive at 50% female programmers in the market within 10 years.”

It’s a little ambitious, don’t you think?

“I don’t think so. The world is moving forward into a programming-based reality, the market needs great programmers, and I think diversity – and not just gender-based – can enhance creativity, introduce new ideas and fresh perspectives, and eventually, I honestly believe we will all benefit from it.”

 

Originally published in the Faculty of Engineering's Fall 2017 Newsletter