Hi, I’m Elise. I’m a ruby developer out of Seattle. I’m really lucky – I learned how to program through unconventional means: friends, bootcamps, and trial and error. Becoming a programmer has been the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my life.

I am also a woman. The cards are stacked against women who are interested in programming careers: 85% of programmers and 98.5% of open source contributors are male. I’m helping start a program to change this: Ada Developers Academy (Ada).

Ada Developers Academy is a non-profit yearlong software development school that combines six months of classroom instruction in Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS with six month of internship/internship at a Puget Sound tech business. Ada is for women who are interested in programming and passionate about technology, but do not have prior dev experience.

We’ve officially launched and are accepting applications. Our first class will start October 28th in downtown Seattle.

We also have an Indiegogo campaign to cover classroom expenses. If this is interesting to you, please donate and spread the word.

Students do not pay tuition, and most will receive a monthly stipend for the whole year. The intent is to allow students to be immersed full-time in learning to program, without worrying about adding to their debt burden. The program is paid for by sponsorship, donation, and state and federal funding. We’re excited to have amazing companies like Zillow, Substantial, Foundry Interactive, EnergySavvy, and ActiveBuilding on board. If your company is interested in sponsoring and/or taking on an intern/intern, please visit our community page.

Thanks for sharing!