3 min. read
Music & Tech: Take A Look At Xena's First Live Coding Workshop
21 high school girls in the Netherlands learn to code
“There is a career in technology in every single industry in the world. We want to show girls these opportunities, and how vibrant and creative the technology industry can be.”
– Alex Walsh, Founder at Xena.
The way our world is going, learning to code is just as important as learning any other language. When you think of jobs in tech, you might envision long strings of code, mathematical geniuses, clunky computers, or maybe you even think of it as a dull and boring career choice. Well, Xena is here to tell you to think again.
Technology allows us to use creativity and technical problem-solving skills to bring innovative new ideas to life. That’s why on the 8th of October, Xena hosted a live coding workshop in partnership with VHTO and FUGA to inspire 21 high school girls to pursue a career in music technology.
Working alongside VHTO, Xena’s mission was to show the students how broad the technology industry is, and that there’s a variety of fun tech jobs in the music industry.
“I think it’s very important that they know they can apply technology in many industries. Whether its fashion, education, or any other industry”
– Laura Fernandez-Moya, Software Developer at FUGA.
FUGA is a music distribution business that manages the data of 4.5 million tracks from more than 500 customers and is a major distributor for Spotify and Apple. Hosted in FUGA’s head office in Amsterdam city centre, five female engineers from FUGA acted as mentors and role models for the event.
So, what was the assignment on the day?
FUGA manages music data. When a track is ready, an extensive analysis is made of how such a song performs with music streaming services. So using one of FUGA’s clients, the students analysed one of Don Diablo’s tracks using Spotify data. Looking into this artist, the students had to find out: how does that person do it and how danceable is the track?
The girls programmed in ‘Python’, which is a programming language for beginners. They worked in Google Classroom and they program in an online browser, on the one hand you see the codes they enter, on the other you see the results of what they analyse such as figures and graphs.
Speaking to Shirley de Wit, Project Coordinator at VHTO, we asked what would you say to girls and women about why it is so important for more women to work in the tech sector?
“It’s roughly three things:
The amount of vacancies. A lot of people will be needed in tech in the near future. Now we throw away a lot of talent because women don’t even consider this profession.
Equality of opportunity. There are many jobs with good pay. It offers women a chance for a good job and thus financial independence.
With a more diverse team, better things are created. If more women start working in tech, better innovations and solutions will come for society.”
During the event, the students also took part in a career speeding lunch with the FUGA role models. This allowed the students one-on-one time with the mentors, and to understand more about their career path, and how they ended up working in technology. Finally, the event finished with pitches and evaluations from each group on what they learned on the day.
Access for girls to learn how to code and the pathways into technology are not widespread enough. This collaboration between Xena, VHTO, and FUGA showed the students that there are so many creative ways that technical problem-solving can be applied.
Are you interested in partnering with Xena on a STEM initiative? Then join our mission here and help us to close the gender gap in tech.