If you happened to be in Kumanovo on the 25th of March, you couldn´t have possibly missed this event. In front of the Cultural Centre, a 3-meter man was giving out badges and flyers to passers-by, inviting them to come in and join the first motivational conference in Kumanovo! At the same time, a tent with colorful beanie bags and a coffee stand attracted the young people to hang out and find out more about what was happening in their town.
Motiv8: Women in Code was a 1-day conference that gathered young people interested in how we can inspire girls to embrace the profession of coding. The speakers were all specialists in IT (app developers, testers, website developers, etc.), who shared from their experience of what it´s like to work in an environment still predominantly male in Macedonia.
The conference had two parts: in the first part the speakers shared their stories and motivated the youth to consider joining the IT sector and trying their luck, if they find it interesting. Related to the question whether it is more difficult for a woman to become a professional coder, Elena Jakimovska said:
”When a code is written, nobody will check whether it was a woman or a man who wrote it. The important thing is that it works”.
Branislav Petkovski, the only male representative among the speakers, shared some funny stories from working in a mixed group of colleagues, mentioning that it is an added value having women as colleagues. Viktorija Manevska encouraged all the girls to believe in their capacities and to not to miss the opportunity of doing something they really like. She has enjoyed enormously her job as a tester and believes that there are no limits other than the ones we create in our heads.
After the lunch break, in which the participants were delighted with a musical surprise coming from the band ”De Marble” and an amazing juggling game performed by professional jugglers, the second part of the conference proceeded with a question panel, in which the participants had their questions answered. Also the group of girls who attended the workshops that were held in the MultiКулти youth center in the weeks before the conference challenged the participants to play a game of coding: they had to design a sequence of commands that will help a robot to perform a simple task of making a pyramid out of cups.
We saw them leaving the conference with a smile on their face. We hope they enjoyed the artistic performances and the interaction with our team, but most of all we hope they enlarged their vision regarding the way in which they should threat their future career options.
And because we are thinking about those who did not have the chance to attend the first conference, the second one, named ”Motiv8: the Artist in You” is coming very soon, so stay tuned!
All the photos from the event can be seen here.
The conference was organised with the support of UNDP Macedonia.