Future of female coding

Female coders at SHS bring new club into light


Brianna Henry

Co-leader Molly Barrett and member Jade Stevens are coding on Aug. 15 at the first Girls Who Code club meeting. This club started last year.

At SHS, robotics is a well-known club meant for students to explore their technological creativity. However, there has never been a club for girls at SHS who are involved in the world of coding to explore their skills until last year. Sophomore Molly Barrett noticed this and immediately took action and started the Girls Who Code club.

“I want to find more people that have the same interest I do in coding,” Barrett said.

The Girls Who Code club is only a year old, but it has created a family. The club started last September. In the beginning, there weren’t many girls who joined, but this year the numbers have increased from five girls to around eight or 10. This year, Barrett and Hale say that there has definitely been an increased amount of interest in the club, especially from some freshman. Barrett and Hale found lots of people who might be interested in being on the club this year.

“It doesn’t matter if you know code at all, if you have an interest in anything from your cell phone to Netflix, to making money, this might be a place for you to come and learn how the next generation of jobs are going to be,” Snodgrass said.

Barrett has always loved coding. She has been doing it for around five years now and is very invested in it. She said it is what helps calm her down sometimes. Her favorite part of coding is the end product. Her interest in coding has driven her to want to have a career in computer science. Barrett says she wants to work for Google in the future.

Co-leader sophomore Savannah Hale is the same way. Her interest and skills in coding are not as sharp has Barrett’s, but she says that is why she joined Girls Who Code. She wants to improve her coding. Hale has centered her classes for the rest of her high school career around majoring in computer science in college. 

“I’ve always had this big interest in electronics,” Hale said. “You can never take me away from my video games.” 

According to Barrett, the female coding community is very closely-knit. Barrett has developed friendships through the coding club. She sees more teamwork come from the female side of things.

The sponsor of the club, computer science teacher Mark Snodgrass, has said he is super thrilled for the club. For this year, the club has gotten in contact with a company called Renaissance Electronic Services in Southport. This company is giving the girls in the group a sense of what a professional woman programmer looks like in today’s world. According to Snodgrass, the company is willing to work with the club and sponsor them.

Snodgrass sponsors the club because he wants to fuel the academic drive that the girls in the club have for coding. He also knows the struggles that some students can have finding scholarships for college, and with this club, girls can get scholarships to help provide them with a way to get a future college education. He also wants to improve the number of girls in his computer science class.

“I’m going to do it as long as there is a need and as long as there are students who want to do it,” Snodgrass said.

Barrett and Hale have both already thought about goals for the club this year. For Barrett, she wants the club to make something that is entertaining to everyone. They have been working on the idea of an app for the school, and they want to make that thought a reality. For Hale, she wants the group to be working on some type of project or have one finished by the end of the year. With the increased amount of members, they find this to be an achievable goal for this year.

“It’s less of an idea and more of an actual club,” Hale said.

Brianna Henry
Leaders Molly Barrett and Savannah Hale discuss plans for the meeting.