Hour of Code: Girl Coders, Girl Power

By Phill Powell

Jen Lamere hacking event
Jen Lamere walked away with a $2,500 grand prize and cool extras when she won the recent TVnext Hack event in Boston.

Computer programming has taken center stage as kids, teens and adults all over the world take part in the Hour of Code. An hour is all it takes to make a difference.

These days there are lots of cool ways for kids and teens to learn computer programming and how computers and technology are increasingly responsible for managing modern life.

All Kinds of Coders
Boys are not the only ones who enjoy STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)-based subjects like computer programming. Girls are showing that they too like to look “under the hood” and tinker with technology.

Don’t believe us? Ask Jen Lamere, a high-school senior from Nashua, New Hampshire. Jen loves technology, especially building robots and entering computer hacking competitions. In fact, she recently won a Boston-based competition—the TVnext Hack event—beating the entire field of 80 male applicants.

A Spoiler Alert for Spoiler Alerts
Jen’s creation, called Twivo, was designed for the serious TV watcher—someone who wants to control how they’re watching Game of Thrones, or other hit shows. Twivo was inspired by the TV watcher’s need to block spoiler information for episodes of series that the TV watcher hasn’t seen yet. With Twivo, you simply specify what show you want to limit information for, and then set how long this information block will remain in place. No more spoilers about that show, until the block expires.

It’s an ingenious bit of programming, made even cooler by being composed of only 150 lines of code, which the 17-year-old whiz whipped up during one 10-hour session the night before the competition. Twivo helped Jen win the “Best Use of Sync-to-Broadcast” and then the “Best in Show” for the entire competition. Her prizes included an iPad mini and an Apple TV, not to mention a cash prize of $2,500. Jen says she wants to eventually work for Google, and she’s well on her way to making her dreams come true.

lamere
Jen Lamere is just one young woman who is successfully targeting a future working in computer programming. What about you?

Make It Happen!
If you’re a girl who’s interested in tech, there’s never been a better time to pursue that interest. If you’re a parent, encourage and empower your daughter using technology and lay the foundation for a thrilling and profitable career in computer programming.

Girls Who Code is an organization that promotes computer programming for girls. Its goals include introducing one million girls and teens to computer science by the year 2020. Programming camps like DMA offer the perfect opportunity to explore awesome subjects like computer programming in a relaxed and fun environment – and with people like Jen, who share your passion.