When Heather Payne wanted to learn to write code, she wasn’t sure where to turn. Then she found a group in Los Angeles called PyLadies which taught Python to women. After returning home to Toronto, Payne and a group of like-minded women started Ladies Learning Code, a non-profit that runs programming workshops. The project has grown to offer twice-monthly workshops that have trained more than 2,000 attendees–including some men–in development skills.
Now Payne and fellow Ladies Learning Code founders Breanna Hughes, Laura Plant and Melissa Crnic are launching a related for-profit venture called HackerYou. HackerYou will offer ongoing development courses in both the United States and Canada and promises a 10:1 student-teacher ratio. The founders say they hope that 50 percent of HackerYou students will be women–a percentage that would be virtually impossible to find in male-dominated university computer science courses.