We are very excited to announce FVGCC’s inaugural one-day Hack-a-thon!
Click the link below and get registered – Space is limited. Sign up today!!
This evening’s meeting is at 25N Coworking at 5:45 pm. It is our last meeting of 2017. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Last week’s guest speaker, Grace Haaf, had so much great information to share that we decided to dedicate the meeting to listening to her career journey in the field of tech and having a great discussion on what the future holds for our girls, today’s challenges for women in tech, and how to make a positive impact on your community by utilizing the tech skills learned in college and beyond.
Now this week, we will be working with the Snake Game, Makey Makey kits, and Object-Oriented coding. Please see last week’s agenda below for details.
The girls of FVGCC had the privilege of web chatting with Jellyvision CEO, Amanda Lannert, as we wrapped up our first full year of coding club meetings. Ms. Lannert generously shared her path in tech as well as providing insight and advice to our high school students. Here is a sample of our conversation:
Ms. Lannert went to work for Leo Burnett right out of college. She discovered early in her career that any job and any industry can be interesting if the people you work with are curious and engaged. Who you work for and with is often more important than what you are doing in your daily work. When looking for employment, interview your boss just as they interview you. A good boss can turn your job into a fountain of learning that will lead to your next opportunity. A bad boss can make even the best career seem awful.
In every position you take, it is important to build your network. Who you know can often mean more than what you know as you move through your career. One such contact led Ms. Lannert to a tech startup, Jellyvision, that was producing CD-ROM games. At that time, Jellyvision produced the number one CD-ROM game, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, based off of the popular TV show and the game, You Don’t Know Jack, a trivia-based party game series. In her first position at Jellyvision, Ms. Lannert was working with future head writers of The Colbert Report and creative types that inspired her every day. Interestingly, the company even turned down Seth Meyers for a job at that time! Joining Jellyvision, was important because of the people and the creative work, it wasn’t about the initial position she held, but what she learned from it. Within six months, Ms. Lannert was Jellyvision’s President.
With this new position, came the challenge of watching Jellyvision’s profit and loss numbers going off a cliff because the company’s main business was producing CD games and the technology around gaming was rapidly changing. As a result, at the age of 28, Ms. Lannert had the gut wrenching responsibility of shutting down the company, laying off 60 people, including herself. They had three opportunities to keep the company, but then the tech bubble burst and the company had to close. One of the greatest takeaways for Ms. Lannert from this experience was that, “Failure is not permanent. You need perspective and resilience.”
Ms. Lannert’s next opportunity would find her again working with Jellyvision after the company’s founder raised money to restart the company, transitioning from the gaming industry to selling software that talks people through difficult life decisions such as health benefits, insurance, and investments/saving. The change did not come with overnight success, the company spent a decade going sideways, but through grit and perseverance, Jellyvision now works with just under 1,000 companies, representing 91 billion dollars in insurance premium. Companies spend significant amounts of money each year to help explain health insurance to their employees. Jellyvision helps make this process clearer, more engaging, and as an added benefit, easy, and fun!
Ms. Lannert used the latter part of our conversation to take questions and share important thoughts on college and career:
Thanks Ms. Lannert for your time and insight!
On Friday, we are excited to welcome Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision, as our last web chat of the 2016-17 school year. Our web chat series this year has given the girls of FVGCC great insight into everything from being a current computer science student at DePaul University to possibilities of careers in cyber security or starting their own tech start up. We can not wait to talk with Ms. Lannert about her path to Jellyvision and what skills and characteristics she believes led to her receiving recent Moxie Awards for both CEO of the Year and Top Woman in Tech! Looking forward to a great conversation.
After our web chat at 5:30, we will continue our mobile programming work. Hard to believe, but this is the last meeting where we will be working in depth on our coding project. Next week, we wrap up the school year meetings with a Taco Bar send off party for our Senior members and will plan and brainstorm for our 2017-18 school year.
At the end of May, FVGCC will be participating in our first Hack-a-thon event through Chicago Hacks. Stay tuned for updates on the project we decide to complete at the event and how we survive 24 hours straight of coding and community!
See you Friday at 5:30 p.m. at 25N Coworking in the boardroom.
Fox Valley Girls Coding Club was so excited to hold their first web chat in November 2016. With the newly introduced web chats and guest speakers, FVGCC is looking forward to reinforcing topic areas that we will be tackling in our monthly meetings as well as introducing club members to areas within the computing industry that may be of interest to them after high school.
In our first web chat, we spoke with Fiona and Lily, Computer Science majors at DePaul University. Here is some of what they shared with us:
On their computer-related background prior to College:
Lily: In High School, Lily took AP Computer Science and was on the Robotics Team. She also learned Python while in high school.
Fiona: Fiona’s Dad is a professional Software Developer. Fiona learned Scratch at age 12. She started out in a different major at DePaul, but came back to Computer Science
Advice/Shared Experiences with our club members:
Thanks to Fiona and Lily for being such great inspirations to FVGCC. We look forward to continuing to see more of our girls following in their footsteps and entering Computer Science in college!
FVGCC wants to thank Julie Pak for an amazing web chat on Friday, February 24. Ms. Pak shared her experiences in business and computer science that led to her starting her own company, RazorX2, while still in her 20’s. Here are some of the highlights of her background and our web chat discussion. Ms. Pak received a Business degree from University of Illinois and a Masters degree in Computer Science from University of Chicago. Ms. Pak’s career has spanned investment banking, working for the Department of Defense, and now running her own successful business that finds effective and efficient solutions for federal government projects.
While speaking with FVGCC, Ms. Pak shared activities that would be great for girls looking to explore computer science:
Ms. Pak also shared great advice on supporting other girls who have similar interests in technology. She reminded our FVGCC girls that it is great to look ahead at your future and to look up for your mentors, but to also remember to look back to help other girls who are looking to you as an example. During the web chat, she also let the girls know that it is important to know that you have earned the opportunities you get and your “seat at the table”. Don’t discount your abilities even if you are the only girl at the table. Her final message was to support each other. This is a sisterhood. So, learn all you can, support others, create what interests you and solves a problem, and BE KIND!
Thanks Ms. Pak for your great insight and inspiration!
Fox Valley Girls Coding Club will be holding the first meeting of the 2016-17 school year on Friday, October 14 at 25N Coworking in Geneva from 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. We are open to all girls, ages 14-18. Please join us and bring a friend!
Starting on October 14, FVGCC will begin meeting for the 2016-17 school year Friday evenings from 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. at 25N Coworking on 3rd Street in downtown Geneva. This year’s coding projects include mobile app projects, completion of the Geneva Film Festival Website, and holding a Girls Make Apps workshop. FVGCC is open to all girls, ages 14-18. Limited spaces are available so please sign up now! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October – 14, 21, 28 – Scratch!
February – 3, 10, 17 – Mobile (MIT App Inventor)
February – 4th @ 9am, St. Charles Library AAUW talk
Feb 24 – skype with guest speaker
March – 7 @ 6pm Teen night at Geneva Library
March – 10 Security Speaker & Mobile
March – 17 – Advanced Mobile
April – 7, 21 – Advanced Mobile
April – 28 – Guest Speaker – CEO of Jelly Vision!
May – 5 – Last Meeting – Cinco de Mayo & Planning Session for 2017-18 school year
We are so excited to be launching our first GoFundMe campaign: gofundme.com/fvgcc
As the first girls coding club in the Fox Valley, we are striving to provide high school girls in our community with hands on coding experience. The funds raised from GoFundMe will be used in these exciting ways for 2016-17:
– A significant amount of money raised will go toward continuing to hold our weekly, school year meetings at 25N Coworking in Geneva, IL. This space allows our girls to learn coding in a modern, creative and tech ready space that is conveniently located near our club members’ high schools. Our goal is to eliminate any financial barriers to girls learning to code so club members do not pay to participate. The only requirement is that they come to meetings curious about coding.
– Through this campaign, we are working together, not only learning how to code, but also how to raise funding for important hardware – Makey, Makey kits for each club member – YES! With Makey Makey Invention Kits, we can turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. Our club members can use Makey Makey for doing art, engineering, music, design and everything in between.
– Funds from this campaign will also be used for software – to cover our web hosting and sub-domain pages (these pages give our club members an opportunity to put what they are learning to work in their own real-world, creative space), and operating expenses, including marketing and recruiting, so we can expand our home-grown club to serve more girls in 2016-17 and beyond.
We hope you will take a minute to visit our GoFundMe page and choose to support FVGCC!
Happy Earth Day!
We will meet in the board room at 25N at 5:45 tonight. After officially launching our GoFundMe and Facebook pages, we will be working with HTML, php and CSS.
Only 5 meetings left before we celebrate the end of our inaugural year with our founding members! Looking forward to great things for the 2016-2017 school year.