We have already published a short report about Blerta Thaci and Zana Idrizi from Kosovo. But their awesome initiative has impressed us so much that we decided to find them and talk to them about their project Girls Coding Kosova in detail.
If you ask them what got them into coding they will tell about the world of technology, that is dominated by men, especially in their home country – Kosovo. “We saw the need for such initiative to firstly connect with other women programmers in Kosovo and also increase their number”, they say.
Blerta and Zana wanted to start something that could change the current situation for women in Kosovo.
Taking into account that the technology field is becoming essential and is very beneficial they started connecting women programmers in the country in order to identify and solve challenges as women in coding field.
Their plan is to organize different events that would stimulate the development of leadership and careers for women in the traditionally male controlled field of technology. “We started with basic ideas, and future plans. Then we continued with meet ups, we saw the great interest from the community and this is how GCK was formed”.
Even though GCK was started as a girl programme, they welcome boys to join the team and code with them. According to Blerta and Zana men can help in increasing number of women programmers in Kosovo and making this initiative even more successful.
While there are a lot of women studying In Prishtina University majors like Computer Science and Computer Engineering, this field is still predominated by men. “One of the reasons that we actually started this is that a lot of women here that study this field do not continue to work in their field, rather they choose something else after they finish their university”.
GCK wants to help this women develop their skills professionally after university. After finishing their studies they need a lot of practicing in order to be able to apply for good programming positions. The duo also wants to increase the number of entrepreneurial women in innovative fields using coding and programming.
So far the girls have created a large community, they have hosted three big workshops with different partners and several meetups.
The main problem Blerta and Zana face is financing their events. Their initiative is a non-profit and whenever they have to hold a workshop they need a financial help.
But money comes and goes. What is here to stay for these girls is the immense support they have by their newly created community.
“We already have made our plans for 2015. We believe that some of our goals are already fulfilled and we are planning to even expand our mission. Thus, a lot of great events are coming and we surely do expect that community will continue to grow”.