Ladies Learning Code: Edmonton Chapter

Ladies Learning Code is a national not-for-profit organization that started up in Toronto in 2011. Founder, Heather Payne, back from a recent trip to LA for a coding workshop, found herself in a strange position – she wanted to learn beginner-friendly computer programming without signing up for a long semester in a technology school, (which often works on the assumption that you already know the basics). After searching around and not finding what she was looking for, Heather took to Twitter to ask if any other women were interested in code; The feedback was astonishing. In a short month or so and after being contacted by would-be sponsors, volunteers, and eager learners, Ladies Learning Code was born!

I think we’ve tapped into an unmet need in the Toronto community – Heather Payne

The first year of Ladies Learning Code in Toronto saw over 1733 participants and it was only a matter of time before other cities starting picking up what Toronto was putting down! Today, joining Edmonton and Toronto, there are 9 more LLC chapters across Canada, including: Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Ladies Learning Code’s workshop style is what makes it stand-out from other technology groups. We have a ratio of 4:1 students to mentors, so that on top of everyone following along with a lead instructor, they’ll have an additional support system to help them along the way! Our workshops are social and collaborative, in an effort to create a comfortable and engaging atmosphere for women (and men) to learn! And, with a repository of over a full year’s worth of learning material – there is likely no chance we’ll be slowing down any time soon!

Since Edmonton’s launch in July, we have taught over 155 learners, welcomed 5 lead instructors and over 40 volunteer mentors have helped run courses for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, and most recently, WordPress. A special thank you goes out to the local companies and organizations who have secured the spaces for us to hold our workshops; Community sponsor and backer to the #yeg chapter bid, BE3Designs, NAIT and to Startup Edmonton who have graciously handed over their social space for half of our workshops in 2014!

We are celebrating (and learning) at our very last #llcyeg workshop of 2013 today – none other than WordPress for Beginners, our first workshop to sell out WEEKS in advance and set us up with a waitlist long enough to justify a second event! As Chapter Lead, I’d like to take this moment to thank our lead instructor and mentors who volunteered their day to our learners – THANK YOU! Without your help, Ladies Learning Code would be more like Hey – I Showed Up, Where is Everybody? Everyone is Asking Me Questions!

With our new season starting up in 2014 and workshops for HTML, CSS, WordPress and more – please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in becoming a learner or a volunteer! We’ve got a community page on Facebook here: or you can check out the full Ladies Learning Code site at and follow @llcodedotcom on Twitter!

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