#LatinaGeeks and Girls in Tech San Diego Learn to Code + Rosé with Microsoft

From LA to SD, our passion is to empower Latinas with the technical knowledge necessary for a career change and advancement.

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We are still buzzing with excitement from last Saturday’s Learn to Code + Rose workshop! #LatinaGeeks partnered with Girls in Tech San Diego and Microsoft to bring the series of hands-on coding workshops to San Diego. From LA to SD, our passion is to empower Latinas with the technical knowledge necessary for a career change and advancement. Geared towards Latina adults in all stages of their career, the coding workshops introduces the three building blocks of the web — HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Women make up 50% of the U.S population and only 25% of the tech workforce; Latinxs adults are just 15% of the workforce according to a study in 2017 by The Kapor Center for Social Impact. Our intro to coding workshop inspires Latinas to pursue their interests in technology and learn that they too can become Sr. Software Engineers at Google, Apple, Qualcomm — or be The Programming Guru running their own company!

Our attendees started their Saturday morning fueled by pan dulce y cafecito. Their enthusiasm for learning to code was felt throughout the room, we knew it was going to be a special day. First time attendee Marisa Cali shared, “We’re fortunate to have these events to share our geeky side. As a Latina, it was inspiring to connect and meet others who share the same passion for learning.”

Lala Castro and I opened the event thanking our #LatinaGeeks for spending their weekend at our SOLD OUT workshop. Not only did the ladies leave with a better understanding of basic coding, but they’ve also gained a supporting community and friendships. The workshop was led by Sal Rosales, Senior Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft. He expressed his passion for technology and his wishes to see more Latina women in technical roles across all industries. This is a personal goal for him because he has a young daughter who he hopes will grow up with in a world where she will have the same opportunities as her male counterparts. Our mission is to create a diverse and inclusive tech space for her and all young girls.

The doors were shut for a 4 hour intensive session and it was on! Our coders were creating customized test sites where they learned to alter the font, color, and hyperlink effects and see their code come to life. While Sal walked them through different coding languages in Visual Studio and Live Server, lunch was being prepped by Healthy Momma.

Healthy Momma is a local San Diego food prep company founded and operated by CEO Flossie Hall. Flossie and the Healthy Momma team transformed the Microsoft offices into a chic and intimate lunch setting with fresh, organic cranberry salads, a delicious variety of wraps, seasonal veggies and hummus, and more! Collaborating with Healthy Momma was a no-brainer, Flossie has created a successful company whose mission is to make healthy food affordable and accessible. She supports women, and entrepreneurs like herself, in all endeavors that will make them successful.

As the workshop wrapped up, bottles of Stella Rose Rosé began poppin’. After 4 hours of coding, our tech savvy Latinas were ready to share their experiences with each other over wine, Angry Orchard Rosé Cider, and appetizers. The energy of the event was captured by our talented photographer, Evelyn Molina, Founder of Evelyn Molina Photography. We got to connect with our attendees and learn about their tech goals and backgrounds. Many women expressed that their motivation for taking this workshop was to take their personal businesses to the next level. They want to have more control over what they create.  

“I didn’t realize that coding was something that would interest me. Today I learned that I’m good at it and I  like it. If it wasn’t for this workshop, I’m not sure when I would have done this on my own. Being around women who were helping each other when someone got stuck was wonderful.” Natalie Arguedas, High School Senior.

We coded, we took selfies, we Instagrammed, and we made plans for our next career power moves. As Latina women in technology and entrepreneurship, we will not be overwhelmed by the fact that there are not enough of us in the room. It’s important to seek out environments where we are supported. Every single one of us can affect change and now is the time to do it!