In A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers, I predicted that a shortage of mobile application developers may eliminate our locale from current and future opportunities in the mobile application industry. My proposal to solve that problem is to begin a local network of women mobile application developers who create expertise for themselves and each other. I have been asked, "Who are you looking for?" and "How will it work?"
Here's my vision for who might become members of the network:
- spouses of faculty members and graduate students from all over the world at local universities
- women tending children who want to work flexible hours at home
- enterprising women interested in learning new skills
- women entrepreneurs interested in creating new companies
- software developers who want to add mobile application development to their résumés
- students and faculty members at local universities who want to share their expertise and receive that of others in return
- women who fall into none of these categories but find that the idea speaks to them
- women who don't want to learn mobile application development, but want to support the efforts of those who do
Here's my vision for how the network will work:
- We have an orientation meeting for everyone interested.
- Women self-select themselves to become members of the network based on what they learn at the meeting.
- Volunteer instructors assist group members in setting up development tools on their computers, provide a context for future learning, and teach the first and most-needed fundamental skills.
- From that initial group, one or more groups form and meet regularly – in each others' homes for play dates with their children, at libraries, in conference rooms, at restaurants, whatever works for each group's members - sharing what they've learned on their own since the last meeting, teaching and learning from each other to form individual and collective expertise.
- Group members intentionally and consciously teach their new skills to other women and either invite them to join their groups or encourage them to form new groups.
- Even if only one woman mobile application developer emerges from the network, I would consider the program a resounding success. As far as I know, that's one more than our locale has now!
I think the primary determinant of who initially becomes a network member and who remains one is not who the woman is, or how the network works, but how she works. For someone who has never been a programmer or developer before, that world can seem as surprising and threatening as Narnia with its uniqueness and complexity. To tolerate the unknown, to study and learn on one's own, to look things up, to struggle, to walk away and come back – all of these are required over and over again of someone who undertakes this work. For those who have these traits, the work can be deeply gratifying and personally and financially rewarding.
Women in the Blackburg, Virginia or the New River Valley, Virginia area who want to learn how to be a mobile app developer, or are interested in finding out if they might want to learn, please email me: [email protected].
For more information on this subject, you're invited to peruse the category Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0.
We're delighted to announce that thanks to the generous sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company, and Hutchison Law Group joining me at Handshake Media, we will be able to host a reception for the very first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers! The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Please email me, [email protected], for an invitation!
Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.