Django Girls Italia

Happy first birthday to the Django Girls Italy!

Django Girls Italy:

We are celebrating the first anniversary of Django Girls in Italy! In March 2015 Nephila sponsored the first London event which was held at the Potato headquarters. We knew we liked the initiative immediately, so we decided to bring workshops to Italy.

First event:

The first event took place in  Rome on December 12th, 2015. We had several supporters who were able to help us to ensure success. Codemotion and Pyroma were extremely helpful when organizing the event. Codemotion provided the lab in which the first workshop took place. Since this was the first event we were slightly worried about the number of applicants. Although we also did have some doubts about the event taking place in Italy. There still is a low female-to-male ratio in the ICT environment but, the number of female programmers has recently increased. In order to encourage applicants we made sure to advertise the event. In addition to social media and mailing lists, we created a press release. From there we then selected the journalists who would receive it. This press release created a network in which was quite unique for an open source event. After doing so we received 100 applications, and we were able to seat 30 at the first event in Rome.

Success of the event:

The event in Rome turned out to be extremely successful. Once the event concluded other open source communities in Italy expressed interest in the Django Girls Project. Associazione Python Italia (the Italian Python Association), suggested that we host another event within PyCon Sette, the 2016 national conference about Python programming language. All different kinds of professionals, researchers, and students come to learn and collaborate. Pycon Sette took place for four days in Florence at the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo. On the last day the Django Girls workshop was one of the closing events. As the programmers passed our room he or she would often look inside to gain an understanding as to why there were so many women engaged in the workshop.We knew then that this was a step in the right direction to  encourage diversity within the Italian open source community.

Once again developers wanted to become involved and organize additional Django Girls events in other cities. Turin was chosen to host the third event which allowed us to reach and involve local groups. Many of the local coaches at Turin were very involved in the planning and execution of the workshop. After Turin, Codemotion held their conference in Milan. Django Girls set up a booth at Codemotion Milan to promote the organization. At the same time in Milan there was a workshop taking place at Venini 42. After four successful events we were able to establish and create a diverse community and network of Django Girls within Italy.

The Django Girls:

The Django Girls have attracted a very diverse group of women. The participants differ in age, background, and experience, but are still able to be apart of a community in which they can grow. The tutorial provides the women with a program in which they can use and follow even after the workshop has concluded. Anna participated in a workshop and explained, "For me it was a wonderful experience: coming back I would rewrite immediately! It gave me the opportunity to learn something more about Django, although it always pops up some doubt, but luckily that the tutorial and documentation are always there."

Future events:

The main purpose of Django Girls is to include women in technology and fill the gender gap within the IT industry. Django Girls are always striving to teach motivated women from all backgrounds.The free workshop provides participants with an opportunity to learn and grow within the IT industry.