It is an early Saturday morning as I am driving, with my daughters, to one of the greatest cities in the country if not the world, San Francisco, for what will be their first experience as computer programmers at the event “Build A Webpage – in a Day”. Coding is a modern science but also an art. I recall the countless times as a youth driving into the city with my father to work in his art gallery on Maiden Lane. Learning the ins and outs of art and acquiring an eye, over many years, of how to appreciate good art. The significance of this event on this particular Saturday in May was that young Silicon Valley Latinas from all corners of the Valley & Bay Area were able to express and create their dreams via the modern canvas – The Computer screen! Step by step they were guided through the process of drawing their topic on paper first so that they could see how it would appear on their computer screen and then the coding began step by step. Their fingers gliding over the keyboards as a painter glides the brush across the canvas. The painter’s canvas in this case was the screen showing the coding on the wall with the master painter at the back of the class typing in the instructions for the girls to follow and learn. We are about technology As Giovanni Rodriguez wrote in Forbes not to long ago “while disparities in education (STEM) and employment exist, the conventional wisdom obscures the reality that Latinos are an emerging force in technology” and this first experience for these young Latinas in Build A Webpage – in a Day presented by Black Girls Code in partnership with Latino Startup Alliance, MEDASF & Google for Entrepreneurs demonstrates the hunger that Latinas in this case have to leave their mark on this industry. After learning to code the entire day these young ladies, 59 of them, were able to build their webpages on fashion, animals, dolls, etc. showing us their youth and at the same time learning how to create and bring to life, via their modern canvas, their dreams. As I took pictures of these young artists keying code on their modern canvases I wondered if this is what it would have been like 70+ years ago when Frida Kahlo began leaving her mark in the art world and now it was these young Latinas turn to leave their mark on this wonderful Valley & City.
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