On September 27th 2014 Girl Geek Scotland held the first ClojureBridge event in Europe was in CodeBase, Edinburgh. This was a one day coding workshop introducing women to the functional programming language Clojure.
The event broke new ground for Girl Geek Scotland, which has previously run talks, dinners, networking events and business development workshops across Scotland. Like other chapters of the Girl Geek Dinners organisation worldwide, Girl Geek Scotland has responded to the changing needs of women in technology careers.
As the word got out about the workshop, we recruited both enthusiastic volunteers and sponsors. Thanks to GitHub, ScotlandIS, Entrepreneurial Spark, Scott Logic, NCR, LispCast, and Tommy Hall, we were able to cover the costs of the event, and give all the participants Clojure e-books and videos to continue learning after the event. We found eager teaching assistants from the local programming community, and further volunteers to help with organising and running things on the day.
Things went pretty smoothly at the installfest (where learners set up the software required), and at the main workshop the next day. Over 20 women came along to learn Clojure, and the teaching assistants alternated between presenting programming concepts and coaching learners through the exercises. Food and drink was served, and all participants left with a stylish tote bag as a souvenir of the event, and advice on local programming groups where they could continue learning.
Following the success of ClojureBridge Edinburgh, there are further European workshops planned in London, Solingen and Berlin, with more in the pipeline. Girl Geek Scotland is also planning further coding workshops introducing other programming languages, which will be announced in the coming months.