There’s almost nothing on the Internet as pervasive as the cat. Memes, gifs, and videos are shared feverishly by people of seemingly all demographics, so it makes sense that a new series of cat-themed coding classes has popped up in NYC. At Kitten Coding Club, no previous experience is required—anyone is welcome to attend one of their free classes, as long as they can at least sort of put up with cats and the humans that love them.
With knowledge of coding becoming more and more important, it’s easy to see why accessible opportunities to learn these skills have become necessary. An increasing amount of entry-level jobs require basic coding skills, and it’s quite likely that people you know are building their own sleek, professional websites to join the ranks of the tech-savvy. Unfortunately, though, due to financial constraints and cultural norms, the tools to learn more are often not open to all.
The barriers to learning about coding inspired Brooklyn-based Ieva Urbaite to start Kitten Coding Club to empower those who wouldn’t ordinarily be encouraged to learn these skills. Walking into a KCC workshop, the more intimidating aspects of the tech world are indeed absent from their group. Instead, participants work together and are actively encouraged to help neighbors through issues with their code. Last month, KCC’s first event even kicked off with an origami session for attendees to get to know each other better. As folks folded the papers (into the shape of a cat’s face, of course), they exchanged names and shared stories about their past experiences with coding.
Urbaite, who launched the club earlier this summer, initially intended for the club to be specific to the needs of women coders who often have to deal with the “bro-grammer” culture that can make the tech world feel exclusive. After realizing that a range of people, even “dudes with gnarly beards,” could benefit from free coding classes, Urbaite and her team decided to open their classes to everyone. According to Urbaite, her knowledge of coding has enabled her to be more creative—something she wishes to impart to her fellow KCC-ers as they continue to form a community. “Eventually, I’d love to have a site where people who meet physically are able to still interact online,” she said, “and continue this physical community presence into the future.”
If you’re curious about what coding looks like removed from the solo context of a hacker’s sparse bedroom or the offices of a startup, check out Kitten Coding Club’s next workshop, on Tuesday, August 19th to perhaps learn something new, or at the very least, look at some very cute pictures of kittens.
For more information and to reserve your spot for Tuesday’s event, visit KCC’s page on Eventbrite
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