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Don’t Be Shy…Girl, Develop It!

GDI Louisville | Shahla Mahdavi

03 Apr Don’t Be Shy…Girl, Develop It!

Well, starting a business and a non-profit has definitely kept me up to my eyeballs in work. However, I wanted to take a moment to write just a little bit about who and what my non-profit, Girl Develop It, is.

Girl Develop It is a nationally recognized non-profit that works to provide affordable, hands-on learning opportunities for women interested in web and/or software development. The Louisville chapter that my good friend Stephanie Clark and I have established is the first chapter in Kentucky - but hopefully not the last!

Having worked in the industry for a number of years, I can speak first hand about the severe gender gap in my field, and lack of support all around. I have always been a girl-power oriented person (thanks mom!), and so it was only natural that once I got into web design, I began seeking out ways to help expose other women to my field. I wanted to start a support group of sorts for women in tech, and during my research – I discovered GDI. I spoke with Steph about it. Steph and I were working at Blackstone Media at the time as designers and front-end web developers. Fortunately for all of us – she was on board!

I want to help empower women from all backgrounds, regardless of race, creed, or socio-economic status. I truly believe that women who code can help bridge the wage gap – but there needs to be more of us. There is also a severe lack of resources to help women in STEM to deal with the misogyny, and difficulties we face. Knowledge is power, and I want to help provide that.

Another thing that I liked about GDI was that it actually works to get women 18+ involved – it’s not just for kids. I also want to help women get involved who may feel like they are “too old”, or totally intimidated by technology. I want to make this approachable, and friendly. You can easily be a mom and do this work from home. Also – I don’t want people to box themselves in and think “Oh, I’m too old for this. I wasn’t raised with technology, how could I ever learn to code?”. The answer is, you’re never to old to learn anything, as long as you have the passion and drive.

Learning to code is no different than learning anything else. You start with a foundation, and then build upon that. Before you can read novels, you have to read primary books, before that, you have to learn the alphabet. I want to help give all age groups of women the chance to learn the foundation, to demystify my field, and help them ignite a passion they didn’t know existed.

We are excited to officially be launching here in Louisville, and hope you can make it out to our launch party!

When: Thurs 4/9, from 6-8pm
Where: Shalimar Indian Resturant
Price: FREE!


Our MeetUp Group


Who can attend classes?

Currently, our classes are open to women 18+

Who can teach classes?

Men or women can become instructors. However, you must be a TA for several classes before becoming a full-fledged instructor.

How much are classes?

We try to keep our classes at about the $10-$12/hour mark. So, for example, if a class is 2 hours for 4 weeks,  the cost would be $80-$96.

Are scholarships available?

We are working on funding now, and hope to be able to offer scholarships in  the near future.

Where will classes be held?

Classes will be held at iHub. It was important for us to find a space that will be easily accessible, and close to bus-lines to help ease any transportation burdens.

What classes will you be teaching?

Currently we plan to have the following classes (although we’d like to add more!)

  • Intro to Web Concepts
  • HTML/CSS (Intro, Intermediate, Advanced)
  • PHP
  • jQuery
  • Ruby on Rails