Get more women into tech with us – and learn about our new CoderGirl Scholarship

Getting more women into tech has been a major focus for companies all over the world in the past years. The IT sector has been struggling with gender diversity problems for a long time, and while this issue has been discussed more and more often in recent years, no significant change has taken place. But it has become clear by now that inviting more women into tech is not only a moral obligation, it’s also common business sense.

Since we’re on a mission to close the digital tech talent gap, and because we want to invite more women into tech, too, we created the CoderGirl Scholarship.

First, we’d like to let you in on some details about the digital gender gap.

Then we want to show you how the presence of women could be invigorating for development projects, digital products, and the tech scene as a whole. The imbalance of genders in tech today is actually a guarantee for the lack of quality in products. After all, when half of the world isn’t involved in creating the digital solutions of today and the future, how can we even hope that these products will fit everyone, right? We will show you what can go wrong through some real-life examples.

Finally, we’d like to introduce you to our CoderGirl Scholarship, also to inspire you to join us in inviting more women into tech.

There's still a long road ahead

Currently, the gender gap in digital fields is a global concern and a complex research topic. Different statistics show different ratios for women in tech by country, sector, company and even specialisation. Most generic research puts this ratio somewhere between 10 to 30% – that is having 1 to 3 women in 10 digital professionals. As for software developers specifically, only about 8% of them are female worldwide, and although 30% of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) degrees are held by women, even they rarely end up in IT.

Even Codecool statistics confirm the low numbers. Looking at 1200+ alumni internationally, we have only 1 woman or girl in about every 5 graduates. The figures show that there’s an urgent need for change, and we’re not waiting for anyone to start it. We want to start on our own, and that’s why we introduced the CoderGirl Scholarship.

In terms of stereotypes, there are still a lot of generalisations associated with coding. People tend to visualise coders as men in glasses, sitting in a dark room all day.

But the age-old notion that coding is a men’s profession is slowly becoming obsolete. As more and more tech companies are realising the importance of diversity in their teams, and are looking to hire more women, the stereotypes will slowly but surely break. It’s a long process to change an image like this, but involving more women in tech is going to be valuable to the tech industry as a whole.

Why you want more women on your team

First of all, women can code, too. Women are believed to be more creative, empathetic and understanding than men generally are, and these qualities are also extremely valuable when working in teams, and when creating products for a variety of people.

Plus, around 53% of European companies that are trying to recruit ICT specialists are having difficulties in finding qualified people – of any gender. And it’s not like these companies aren’t looking to hire women. It’s just that the tech talent gap is widening at an accelerated rate.

So having a new wave of skilled women enter the tech scene could not only help women start new lives in fulfilling, future-proof careers, but could help solve the problem of the ever-widening tech talent gap at companies. What’s more, it could improve digital products and services, too.

More women in tech = better products

If we look at the design, development, or management of digital products and applications all over the world, we can see a definite pattern. When men are in charge without the other gender’s insights, it often happens that the final digital product doesn’t fit women at all.

For example, women use their phones differently. They put them in pretty cases, then bury them in their handbags, mostly – and don’t simply wear them in their front pockets as men do, where they’re quickly accessible.

Why is this interesting?

Well, it became obvious once the NFC payment service went live. It resulted in surprised male executives scratching their foreheads, wondering how their estimations about the adoption and success of the service could have gone this wrong. And the only reason behind the failure was women being left out in the solution design phase. Who knows how the product’s launch could’ve gone, and how the product would have looked like had women been asked to give their two cents in the first place.

Now let’s talk about differences in size for a second – hand size, of course. Women have smaller hands – yeah, we know, obvious. Can you imagine though, that the first wave of game console controllers weren’t optimised for the hands of gamer girls at all? That is 41% of the gaming market in the US today. That’s what we call a missed opportunity.

We know, difference in size of hands is a no-brainer. But did you know that 90% of women’s pupils have a wider diameter than men’s? And it does matter, of course. Where? For example, standard VR headsets cause nausea and headache for women a lot more often than for men. If only they had been designed differently, right?

These blips show that it’s vital to encourage women to start a career in tech and get involved in digital product development. Not only because it’s just fair. Also to save companies from similar painful learnings after a product launch.

To actively bring this change forward, we created the CoderGirl Scholarship.

Why we started the CoderGirl Scholarship

There’s zero evidence showing that one gender is more capable to code than the other. We see the reason for the diversity problem elsewhere: in lack of social support, confidence and opportunity.

The way we see it, there will only be more female programmers if more are trained. Our aim is to give girls who have been thinking about starting a career in tech a nudge, inspiration, and some motivation. It’s for those who want to take the first steps towards starting a new career, but for some reason, have not yet started this journey. They just may be lacking resources, or they might feel discouraged by stereotypes.

“Codecool would like to make girls and women aware of the fact that they are welcome in technological, digital and programmer training and career paths. As an open-minded, transparent company, we strive to get rid of the stereotypes connected to technology, programming and managerial roles in Central and Eastern Europe. One of our main objectives is to continue increasing the 20% rate of our female students – which otherwise even now exceeds the local averages in this sector – and to help a generation of much more diversified professionals and start-ups to start and develop their careers,“ says Codecool’s Head of Marketing, Anna Ferenczy.

The scholarship offers motivated, courageous girls a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and gives them a head start in their IT careers. They will get the entire Codecool package with pro mentor support and our mastery-based learning model to take them to a new tech career – free of charge.

The Scholarship is available for girl and women students in all Codecool locations: in Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Austria, too. Successful applicants will have the chance to complete one of our courses for free.

Be part of the change

98% of all Codecool graduates are hired right after they complete their Codecool journey due to our proven methodology, experienced mentors and unique curriculum. If you’re interested in opening up your positions to more women, we invite you to partner with us to fill your vacancies with talented, motivated female professionals.

We believe in transformation and growth. We can bring you the right talent based on your preferences, or help your colleagues become your best and most motivated tech professionals. 

If you’re ready to grow your team and enhance your organisation’s digital skillset, get in touch!

We can’t wait to talk with you.

13 tech and management podcasts we follow

woman listening to podcast on phone
woman listening to podcast on phone

Are you the type of developer or tech leader who loves to learn new things every day and keep up with the latest trends – but who also doesn’t have much free time to dedicate to studying? Then podcasts may be your perfect bite-sized bits of daily learning snack. 

You can listen to podcasts while traveling, walking the dog, doing the dishes or to just simply take a break from home office. You can learn new things from them in small chunks, in an entertaining way and without looking at a screen – whether you’re just a beginner yet or already a seasoned pro in your area.

But let’s clarify first: what is a podcast?  A podcast is an audio programme, just like a radio talk broadcast, but you can subscribe to it on your smartphone and listen to the episodes whenever you like. Sometimes a one-man show, often a dialogue, where one or more hosts and sometimes guests discuss a topic. Podcasts come in shorter or longer episodes (from about 5 to 90 minutes), and are published regularly, like every week or month.

You can listen to podcasts on podcast apps, but you can find a lot on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, too. Popular podcast apps include, podbay, spreaker and podbean. When choosing your app or platform, look at the menu of podcasts offered. We like because it’s free and it features a lot of podcasts related to software development.

We’ve collected our favourite podcasts about software development and IT management for your inspiration. Some of them are now archived, another few are on a break, but most of them are active, broadcasting new episodes regularly. We suggest you to browse all episodes anyway, because you can learn a lot from the older ones, too.

Check out our favourites and enjoy! 

Tune into tech: Podcasts for developers 

1. Hanselminutes
Frequency: weekly
Length: 30 to 45 min
Host: Scott Hanselman, a programmer, teacher, and speaker

Scott Hanselman invites a guest ot each episode to talk about his or her professional field. Most of the episodes are about information technology related fields. All episodes are insightful, entertaining and masterfully edited. He takes time to thoroughly prepare for each interview and leads the discussion with deep and well-targeted questions. There are a lot of super interesting episodes among the more than 800.

Recommended sample: SOLID Principles with Uncle Bob – Robert C. Martin

2. Developer Tea

Frequency: 2 to 3 episodes per week
Length: 10 to 20 min
Host: Jonathan Cutrell, a “programmer, podcaster, pilot, and inconsistent alliteration maker”

The purpose of the programme is to discuss questions relevant to developers in short episodes, that you can listen to during a tea break. The brief discussions are straight to the point and usually give very useful tips.  

Recommended sample: Friday Refill: Focusing On Mastery Will Not Limit Your Options

3. Coding Blocks

Frequency: 1 episode in every 3 to 4 weeks
Length: 90 to 120+ min
Hosts: Allen Underwood, Joe Zack and Michael Outlaw, “a few guys who’ve been professional programmers for years”

This podcast is not for beginners. The hosts discuss narrow topics of software development with unusual depth and detail. We especially liked their series about design patterns and clean code. Warning! Deep water, only for swimmers!

Recommended sample: Clean Code – Comments Are Lies

4. MS Dev Show

Frequency: weekly
Length: 60 to 90 min
Hosts: Carl Schweitzer and Jason Young, Microsoft software engineers

The hosts talk to guests about – obviously – mostly MS tech related topics. highly recommended for .NET developers and everyone interested about what’s new around Redmond. A very entertaining programme.

Recommended sample: Git and Bots with Sarah Sexton

5. Soft Skills Engineering

Frequency: weekly
Length: 20 to 30 min
Hosts: Dave Smith and Jamison Dance, software engineers

This podcast helps software developers level up their engineering skills beyond writing code. Topics discussed by the hosts include HR topics like pay raises, hiring and firing developers, technical leadership, learning new technologies, code review etiquette and much more. The hosts are super funny, and they’ll also teach you something new every week.

Recommended sample: Episode 213: Interviewing your future boss and screwed by private equity

6. The .NET Core Podcast

Frequency: weekly
Length: about 1 hour (older episodes: 10 min)
Host: Jamie Taylor, a .NET developer, small business owner, consultant, and community builder

This podcast  is devoted solely to Microsoft’s .NET technologies, the latest news on what you can build with it, and what the community are building. The podcast is created by the host, Jamie Taylor with contributions from developers in the .NET community. It’s also recommended to listeners who are new to development or MS technologies. Each technology is introduced via examples of the applications and system that have been built with those technologies.

Recommended sample: Episode 58 – Practical Debugging for .NET Developers With Michael Shplit

7. Weekly Dev Tips

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: 3 to 25 minutes
Host: Steve Smith, also known online as @ardalis, software architect and trainer

Weekly Dev Tips offers a variety of technical and career tips for software developers. Each tip is quick and to the point, describing a problem and one or more ways to solve that problem.

Recommended sample: Requirements and Change with Guest Juval Lö

Listen, learn & lead: Podcasts (not only) for tech leaders 

8. The Solution Focused Podcast

Frequency: 1 episode in every 1 or 2 months
Length: cc 1 hour
Hosts: Members of the UK Association for Solution Focused Practice (UASFP)

The official podcast of the UASFP was archived last year after episode 13, but it remains a great resource for those who help others wanting to become more productive. It’s also highly recommended for coaches, mentors, leaders and other helping professionals. The episodes are providing a deep-dive introduction to solution focus brief coaching, a highly effective methodology for learning organisations focused on people and innovation.

Recommended sample: Ep 1: What Is Solution Focused Practice?

9. Bit of Optimism

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: (mostly) 20 to 50 minutes
Host: Simon Sinek, TED speaker, visionary, author, a trained ethnographer, and “an unshakable optimist”

Simon Sinek talks with his friends about what inspire them, touching on topics around “love, life, leadership and silver linings“. He wants to make people feel secure, inspired and fullfilled with their lives everyday. Listen to an episode if you need some inspiration to uplift your mood or to make a difficult decision in your private life or as a leader.

Recommended sample: Episode 37: The Value of Failing with Suneel Gupta

10. Quick and Dirty Tips: The Public Speaker 

Frequency: weekly
Length: 8 to 20 minutes
Host: Lisa B. Marshall, communications expert

This archived podcast features practical, science-based tips around leadership, psychology, and communication beyond public speaking. There are a lot of episodes about giving a talk or presentation, but others focus on workplace communication and situations, like giving feedback. 

Recommended sample: 6 Constructive Ways to Give Negative Feedback

Think outside your box: Podcasts for everyone

11. Simply Focus

Frequency: (almost) weekly
Length: cc 1 hour
Hosts: Elfie Czerny and Dominik Godat, brief coaches

This podcast is a great resource for people who want to achieve an effective focus in their life, and embrace a life in joy and ease. The hosts say that what you focus on in your daily life matters. They advise you to choose focuses that uplift, empower, and amplify useful change. Listen and learn more about the topic for your business and private life.

Recommended sample: SFP 90: Being a Progress Detective: Solution Focus in Business Settings and Conflict Management with Dr. Peter Röhrig

12. Brain Science

Frequency: monthly
Length: cc 1 hour
Host:  Dr. Ginger Campbell, an Emergency and Palliative Medicine physician with an interest in the brain and consciousness

Dr. Campbell and her guests share recent discoveries from the world of neuroscience in a way that anyone can enjoy. She believes that understanding how the brain works gives us insight into what makes us human. It’s also fascinating to learn from some episodes how a scientific method has unravelled a long-standing mystery. All episodes feature deep and quite complex topics, which will require your full attention.

Recommended sample: Jeff Hawkins describes a new theory of Intelligence

13. Productivity Game

Frequency: weekly
Length: 2 to 12 minutes
Host:  Nathan Lozeron, an engineer, educator, and public speaker.

The host’s purpose is to help people feel productive and fulfilled at work. He finds the best books on performance and productivity, and distills them into quick, engaging, and actionable lessons. His podcast has been archived, but he still posts new videos about books on his website.

Recommended sample: GRIT by Angela Duckworth – animated core message

These are just a few of the great podcasts you can find on the internet. We suggest that you keep looking and find the ones that inspire you.

If you’re into tech or leadership, you know that you singed up for a career to be built on life-long learning. That’s why we at Codecool start by teaching our junior programmer students about how to learn and grow, and how they should own and drive their learning process.

If you want to develop yourself in tech beyond listening to podcasts, check out our courses. If you’d rather hire great programmers, or get your  colleagues trained in programming, reach out to us.

Until then: browse, listen and get inspired!

Your employee has changed – new ways of management in post-covid times

We all feel that the pandemic may or may not be over yet. In fact, it seems that we may just be entering a 4th wave in many European countries, and are already in the middle of it in some other parts of the world. However, several countries experienced a relieving break recently after the 3rd wave, in many cases with employers opening up their offices for workers again for the first time since the virus hit us all so badly. And many of these employers experienced a subtle change in the character and attitude of their workers at the same time.

We at Codecool decided to open our offices when the time was right, and not much later invited our students back to the classrooms, too. But we also felt that the pandemic has changed us, our colleagues and our students (among whom may be your next junior programmer colleague, who knows). We felt that we’re just not the same anymore, but also that it’s not so easy to get around this feeling. It’s not so simple or black-or-white. We may be facing another lockdown and return to stricter work rules, and possibly a full WFH (work from home) setup in the coming weeks or months. But we want to be aware of the nature of change we’ve already went through, get prepared for whatever may come next, and maybe adjust the ways we do management in the meanwhile.

So how are we all different after 1+ year of isolation? Why exactly? What should we do or not do about the change? How will Codecool graduates be different from previous years’ alumni, and what will they be like at their brand new work places?

We decided to dig in just to find a load of amazing research and articles already written on the subject. And then opted for a brief summary of the insights we found most interesting and eye-opening.

We then grouped the insights around 4 topics:

  1. Work from home
  2. Speedy digitalisation
  3. Health and wellness prioritised
  4. Global crisis mode

Let’s jump in! See if you find some of these insights familiar or inspiring yourself.


1. Work from home

With the abrupt enforcement of social distancing as the primary means to slow down the new pandemic, WFH quickly became the standard way of working early last year. A Eurofound research showed that about 37% of the EU workers transitioned to WFH, 24% for the first time ever. Previously an employee benefit, WFH was now enforced in a non-negotiable way – only wherever it was feasible, of course. Essential / non-essential service, as well as work requiring physical proximity / work allowing remote setup quickly became relevant labour categories.

The solitude and isolation of single-household workers impacted introverts and extroverts differently, but in general increased depression, boredom and anxiety. In larger households WFH increased familiar disruption taking our focus, and therefore leading to stress. It also shifted our priorities to family and private life

With management moved to remote mode, too, self-management became key and many times a challenge, including flex time management, and especially over-work, paired with unchanged performance (resulting in lower efficiency). Previously rare Zoom calls taking over our work days proved especially draining and stressful in this period.

On the upside, some people experienced a bigger freedom in parallel with the breakdown of physical ties to the office. They started to appreciate the mobility, digital way of work and their new-found relative independence from day-to-day micro-management.

Makes sense, right? Been there, done that. Now wondering, how did all this change your employee and how you should change your ways as a manager?

Here are a few changes paired with useful tips:

→ Balance out changed productivity

Long isolation makes socialising and personal connection both desired and unusual.  Workers may be less productive in the office, too, especially in the beginning, because of spending too much time enjoying each others’ company. The experience may also be draining for them, too, because it’s all new and tiring to have people around again. What can you do? Let them be. Let your workers enjoy just being with their colleagues and take their time talking over coffee or take long lunch breaks. They need this for a healthy balance, to be able to perform on WFH days or overtime.

→ Take back from hands-on management

After experiencing self-management your team might react to your old management style differently now. Take back from managing your workers in general, including micro-management, encourage self-management, increase scope of ownership, make conversations instead of directly assigning tasks, build on the trust you have built out during the remote work period. This will not only help your colleagues deal with the situation, but also you, to grow as a leader.

→ Leave WFH options open

WFH can grow on you, even if you had trouble getting used to it in the beginning. It used to be an employee benefit before for a reason after all – it’s convenient, comfy and practical. Even those workers not particularly fond of the new setup might now expect having the option to work from home time-to-time. Others may not want to return to the office at all, and there are many preferences in between. Make sure to find out how your colleagues feel about the topic and try to take their preferences in consideration when updating your WFH policies. A little flexibility and generosity will go a long way and might actually become a decisive factor for your employees in the end when planning their future career at or outside your company.  Plus, WFH might mean faster, simpler and less expensive labour for your company – you just have to adjust your management style in the long run (→ see also previous point)


2. Speedy digitalisation

In parallel with transitioning work to employees’ homes, companies were forced to move their products, services, processes and channels online, too. Meaning those, that were actually able to, because of their industry, competency and agility. Many others, outside of the non-essential service categories experienced severe disruption, sometimes irreversible losses and went down together with whole industries. And we could see anything in between, too, in different industries, including layoffs, hiring freezes, working time caps, mandatory holidays and pay-cuts.

Workers of digitalising companies had to face further challenges in parallel with moving work home. They had to get used to and manage brand new digital work tools, processes and products, all of these sometimes requiring new tech skills, too. This made them question their own work statusabilities, confidence and blurred the lines of previously clear career prospects. And they had to get to learn to work with a new type of connectedness, digital connection, which gained so much ground in times of social distancing.

They also saw the world of work becoming not just a much more digital, mobile, connected and global, but also an insecure place where people can lose their jobs from one day to another, many times with no feasible “plan b”-s to quickly bounce back to.

Sounds familiar? We’ve all been part of this and we’ve all been impacted one way or another. 

Here are a few things you can do about some of the changes left on your employees:

→ Go agile now

One shared trait of organisations surviving and thriving after the 3 waves of the pandemic is agility. It’s not too late to go (more) agile even now, it’s rather a must. We just learnt how an unforeseen global crisis can stop our world and force us off our beaten paths. Can we really expect something like this to not happen again? Better get prepared now. Prepare your teams and processes to act fast on change in opportunity or demand, recover from an unexpected fall and continue to operate in some alternate setup. Go creative and think out of the box together – and don’t try to predict the way things will turn out, rather hack your future by preparing for as many options as possible building on an agile way of thinking and frameworks.

→ Apply new ways of reskilling fast

Newly digitalised businesses require new digital skills from employees.  It’s high time to prioritise strategic skill planning and rapid reskilling. According to Forbes the 2 key skills needed to manage uncertainty and digitalisation of the future are coding and empathy. Codecool‘s developer courses help build a strong foundation of both coding and soft skills, using a project-based curriculum and agile workplace-like setup. They are available for individuals and companies, too, both for absolute beginners and more advanced professionals. 

→ Automate part of the work

Whatever can be automated, should be now. Maybe it’s a bigger challenge in your industry than in some others, but think tasks instead of whole jobs. Especially routine tasks which used to be done in-person previously, but must now be solved online can be good candidates for automation. Think of it as just one more step ahead, to manage higher demand, changed WHF work-load and also, your employee’s motivation.


3. Health and wellness prioritised

With a global pandemic at the center of all the shake-up, our and our loved ones’ physical and mental health quickly gained priority on our list of concerns. What contributed to this? The strictness, urgency and extent of different protective measures, the questions around the nature and seriousness of the new virus induced disease, the risk to our health, isolation and / or being closed in together with our families, plus the media hype on top of it all had their share. 

Stress levels rose, and depression and anxiety cases became common even in people not directly impacted. Those who fell sick got an extra dose of the mental burden, too, plus experienced mild to serious physical symptoms and even have had to start getting used to the fact that some kind of post-covid symptoms might also impact their lives even on the long run (possibly hindering their performance at work, too). And many others, who experienced loss and tragedy have still have to learn to survive and live a full life, or at least regain some of their motivation to be able to function, and not just at work. All this resulted in people in general starting to reprioritise health and wellness, valuing rest and off-work time more than before, turning inwards and also to others with more compassion. 

You can help your employees with these issues, too.

→ Make their physical health your priority

Supporting your employees in keeping safe from or dealing with health issues should be a no-brainer. It’s also in your best interest to do everything you can to help your workers maintain their good health. Consider how you can contribute from facility management through work-time policy review to employee benefits system adjustments. Small changes matter, too. 

→ Use office space to help mental recovery

Let the work place take on a new, important role, to give space to healing through community experience. You might even want to adjust the size, function and outlook of the work space to support this new role. It should encourage team and 1-to-1 connection, fun moments and quiet withdrawal, too. Provide for random encounters, scheduled social ceremonies and sufficient personal space and time.

→ Provide access to professional mental support 

Endorse and communicate the idea that it’s OK not to be OK. Notice and avoid toxic positivity. But in the first place, accept that as an employer it’s in your best interest to care about the mental health of your workers. Don’t try to solve the new challenge in-house, find a professional partner to help your employees with consulting, coaching or team sessions.


4. Global crisis mode

Accept that the global pandemic is in fact a crisis, and you’re crisis managing. We’re all in this together, which makes the situation even more overwhelming for everyone. We all feel lost in the middle of the information overload, sensationalist news and conspiracy theories. We question our priorities and values, and also our purpose. Not so sure anymore what we should want from life. 

All of these problems may sound like aspects way beyond your managerial scope and competence. But you should care if you want to retain and motivate your employees once again. And the good news again is that you can actually make a difference.

→ Stop the infodemic 

This pandemic is also a “digital epidemic” causing information overload. To stop it on an individual level “social media distancing” can help. As a manager you may want to share only relevant and updated information about the situation. 

→ Make the situation clear 

Management in times of uncertainty, change and complexity requires clear communication. Aim at simplicity and transparency. Besides telling your employees what will happen, what will not happen and what you expect from them, make sure to use their words, ask for their feedback and answer their questions the best you can. You can’t and shouldn’t know everything, but whatever you know communicate with clarity. It restores a level or safety, strengthens trust and creates openness in the organisation. 

→ Give a sense of purpose 

Reinforcing your shared purpose might also be important for your employees in these uncertain times. When everything is being questioned, including what we should believe in and strive for in life, a sense of purpose and connection to work and how it benefits customers might help them more then ever. Make sure you make the occasion into a discussion rather than an announcement. Spend time to understand their needs and expectations and build on these.

Sounds like a lot of changes and to do’s? We feel you. 

But instead of thinking expectations, try to look at all these tips and insights as opportunities. We at Codecool do our best but still don’t yet do everything suggested above. The point is that we do our best and that we show that we care.

And we also do care about your future employees, also because we are training them right now. Besides turning our students into the best junior programmers you’ll find on the market, we’re helping them strengthen their soft skills and work together with them in an agile framework. 

All this to make sure they’ll not only be able to code, but also to cope – whatever challenges we all might face next.