Network of Women Mobile Application Developers

Handshake Media, Incorporated has a vision for the creation and growth of a network of women mobile application developers.

Problem

A shortage of mobile application developers in the New River Valley of Virginia predicts that the current and future market opportunity in the mobile software industry may bypass the region.

Solution

The New River Valley is home to enterprising women interested in learning new skills and to women entrepreneurs interested in creating new companies. It is home to two major universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University.  Faculty members and graduate students from all over the world at both universities often have bright, highly-educated spouses who are under-employed or non-employed due to choosing to care for children at home and/or having English language difficulties.  Many would welcome part-time employment which they could perform at home on their own schedules that would equip them for post-child-rearing careers. 

Software development is difficult.  It requires intelligence, perseverance, and concentration.  It requires the acquisition of complex knowledge and skills that can be learned synergistically in groups.  Group members willing to share, teach, tutor and coach each other can produce rapid, efficient, collective and individual learning.

Goal

Create, equip and train an initial group of women, who reside locally, in mobile application development and request that these group members teach mobile application development to others. Thus begins a local hub and network of mobile application developers with local ties and potential global connections available to local companies in need of mobile application developers.

How

Train members of the network to write JavaScript code and to use a to-be-announced software company’s cross-platform Application Programming Interface (API) development tool on their own computers running Windows 7 to create and build mobile applications for the Android.  Development for the Apple iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, etc.) would be a future step and requires the use of Apple computers.

(Here is a list of mobile application development tools. The one we will use is on this list. Clicking on “View Results” at the bottom of the poll will show the tools voted most popular.)

Requirements for initial group membership

Each of the initial group members would be required to:

  • be eager to learn and eager to produce results from that learning.
  • be self-motivated, self-disciplined, and generous with sharing knowledge, information, and skills.
  • have her own computer and Internet access.
  • be a skilled computer user. Programming experience would be useful, but is not required. The network must operate as an entry into mobile software development for women who are complete beginners.
  • agree to be photographed and filmed for the public to view to publicize and document the program.

Each of the initial program members would commit to:

  • learning how to write code for, and to create, mobile applications, initially using JavaScript and the cross-platform development tool, both independently and interdependently with other network members and with women who may voluntarily join the group.
  • meeting at least monthly in self-identified and self-created groups, ideally in each others’ homes, to eliminate the need for childcare arrangements or costs, or to reduce restaurant and room rental costs.
  • giving herself 6 months to learn this new, difficult skill.
  • creating reliable, tested and approved, ready-to-upload source code for 1 marketable mobile application within 1 year of joining the network.
  • teaching 2 other women, 1 of whom would be willling to commit to becoming an active member of the network.
  • working on the honor system, i.e. making an integrity-based commitment to using the program’s resources for their intended purposes and outcomes, including personal and professional growth for each individual, and achievement of the goals of the program.

Thank you Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company and Hutchison Law Group in joining me at Handshake Media in sponsoring the inaugural meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers in Blacksburg, Virginia on March 7, 2011.

The first group of 12 to receive training on March 16 will be treated to a complimentary meal thanks to the support and sponsorship of VT KnowledgeWorks.

Thanks to Ryan Hagan, Shierod Russell and Wesley Ferrell – who are volunteering their time to help – we will have on-site technical support during the training.

Here’s more information about the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Also of possible interest are the categories Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0 and Mobile Applications from Handshake Media.

For more information, please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, anne@handshake20.com.

1 of 20 Women Who Developed Mobile Apps
What Do Women Want from Mobile Apps?