Alexandra & Melissa are two awesome ladies who code and want to pass that skill on to others young girls interested in tech but don't know where to start. Check out their Kickstarter campaign to help them pass on the power of technology!
Tell us about how you met and decided to collaborate on Vidcode.
Alexandra & Melissa met at Startup Weekend, a 54-hour hackathon where participants form teams and build a minimal viable product of their ideas. Strangers at the start, Allie and Melissa instantly joined forces upon discovering their common passion to get more girls involved in STEM. By the end of the weekend, their team built the first version of Vidcode, demoed it to an audience and judges' panel, and took home first place at the event. They've been working side-by-side ever since.
You both obviously want to pay it forward to the next generation of coders - can you tell us about your first coding experience and why you want to pass that on?
Allie: My first coding experience was with processing, a Java based language; I made a little human figure swim. I learned code through visual graphics programming which was amazing for me as my background is in the arts. I then moved on to learn video processing, which is what we are teaching girls on vidcode. I've spent my entire life as a storyteller, first through photography and now through technology. Learning to code interactive stories is something teen girls very much relate to.
Melissa: I've always loved math and problem solving so coding was a pretty natural progression for me. The first project I worked on was a computer simulation of shuffling a deck of cards. That was enough to make me realize that writing code put me in the driver seat and let me control my computer and make it do things! I found that really fascinating and I wanted more girls to know what a fun and powerful activity coding can be for them too.
I think its great you are adding a creative element to coding. Can you tell us why you chose to focus on video?
Video is unique as a vehicle to learn code, as it both a colossal vehicle of communication and artistic expression. These are two areas we wanted girls to be able to play with as they learn to code. As we move forward in to the future coding is going to be intertwined with everything that we do. Teens need to understand software, as well as feel comfortable playing with code, and this is the value we give our girls.
What is your advice for girls who want to start their own company?
Learn to code! The power to create your own prototypes, and make them come to life is unexplainably wonderful. Just like sketching an idea communicated with an audience, prototyping a product you want to introduce to the world gives you the keys to make your dreams a reality.
Also, take a couple business courses. It may seem boring now but it will pay off later. Every human being should understand finance. Even work in finance for a few years. You don't have to do it forever but the experience you gain working with investors on the ground will give you the power to get funding for your next startup. Finance and code are languages that move mountains We want our girls occupying those positions of power!
Any social media plugs or links to share with our readers?
The app! We would love for your readers to try it out: app.vidcode.io
Check out their official Kickstarter campaign here!