Girl Code in Schools For Year 11 – Year 13 students


Girl Code is a web app development course. We teach software engineering using a project-based activity that simulates working in an actual software company. This year, Microsoft and OMGTech! have provided funding to run Girl Code for free in low-decile schools.

The course runs for eight two-hour sessions. It is challenging, and students will need to work hard to succeed. However, they do not need any previous programming experience.

To be eligible your school must:

  • provide a room for us to work in from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM one day each week.
  • select ten keen female students in Year 11, 12 or 13.
  • be decile 1 to decile 4 and in the Auckland region.

You do not need to provide computers.

(This page is for schools. If you are an individual who wants to attend Girl Code, please check out our main page.)

What happens at Girl Code?

Our students work as a team to build a web application – an interactive website similar to TradeMe, Facebook or Tumblr. For the first three sessions, we teach them the foundational skills. After that, they take the lead in building the web application. They will come across the same challenges they would face at a real tech company, and learn what it is like to work in the software industry.

The tools we teach at Girl Code are the same tools used by top employers like TradeMe, Vend and Orion Health.

By the end of the course, students will know how to:

  • Create a website using HTML and CSS
  • Add interaction to a site using JavaScript
  • Let your users chat and post content through Node.js
  • Work together on the same code using Git
  • Use Agile planning techniques to stay on track
  • Release a project into the world!

Why are we doing this?

New Zealand’s software industry is growing rapidly, and companies are struggling to find enough skilled workers to hire. Meanwhile, many young people are struggling to find comfortable jobs because they don’t have the necessary skills.

Women are underrepresented in the technology sector. While different factors contribute to this, one major problem is that technology jobs are often misrepresented as antisocial, solitary roles that involve solving hard, abstract problems by yourself. Many girls find this unappealing, and are more interested in jobs that involve social interaction, teamwork, and doing work that helps other people.

In reality, most technology jobs are highly social. Most tech workers work in teams, solve problems together, help customers and clients, and give presentations to their colleagues.

Girl Code was designed to let students experience a social coding environment. This helps them make a well-informed decision about whether they want to pursue a technology career. While many other courses teach individual programming skills, we think it’s just as important to teach students how programmers collaborate and function as a team.

Our goal is to help young women find out if tech is a good match for them before they finish high school. We believe that this will lead to more students choosing to study software engineering, which will lead them into a great career and ultimately help build a more diverse tech industry.

Who runs Girl Code?

Alice's face


Alice Gatland has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Auckland. She is a radio producer and host at 95bFM. She previously worked at the University of Auckland’s Photon Factory.

Alice is passionate about helping more women get into technology careers. She has taught programming at over 20 events for Auckland Libraries, Gather Workshops, and OMGTech. Alice recently designed and ran a game-making workshop where beginners learn to express creative ideas using a variety of technology tools.

Matthew's face


Matthew Gatland has a degree in Software Engineering from the University of Auckland. He is a video game developer and was previously a senior software engineer at Orion Health.

Matthew has spent many years in the tech industry and knows about the opportunities and challenges of the field.

He has given career talks and run workshops at over 20 schools, and designed beginner programming activities for many organisations including OMGTech.

Sign Up

We are able to run Girl Code at three schools each term. The schools will need to find ten students who are prepared to attend all 8 sessions. The school will also need to provide a room for us to work in from 3:30 PM, one afternoon each week for 8 weeks.

We can provide computers if students do not have their own.

To be eligible, the school must be decile 1 to decile 4 and in the Auckland region.

If you want us to run Girl Code at your school, please contact

Contact Us

Please get in touch if you have any questions! You can call, text or email.