Isabel Sieh is a 14 year old young Filipino Programmer who is learned how to code at the age of 10. Isabel is a self taught programmer, she used free online courses at Code Academy in order to hone her skills as a programmer.
Her love for coding was discovered by one of her teachers. He noticed that Isabel excelled in math therefore told her that she should try to learn how to code. When she started to learn she wanted to make a club for coding. However young Filipino programmers aren’t a common thing in the Philippines hence it was not easy building her club.
In the third attempt a teacher helped her and in the end she manage to have fifteen girls to sign up for her club. This was the start of Isabel’s journey as of of the young entrepreneur in the Philippines.
Girls will Code
According to their website “Girls Will Code is a community that encourages girls to participate in activities related to coding, programming, robotics and engineering. Through this platform, girls can share ideas about their personal projects, promote interest in programming and robotics in a fun learning environment.”
The inspiration for Girls will Code is that most of the coding clubs for girls were in america said Isabel. Coding in the Philippines isn’t exactly taught to ten year old kids. Filipino programmers aren’t exactly rare but young Filipino programmers, that’s a site to see.
Developing Girls Will Code
At the age of twelve Isabel taught coding at a public school in Antipolo. During this time she had a hard time teaching the girls because of the lack of equipment. However, this did not stop her in fact it helped her develop her offline coding kits.
“Coding is what powers technology today, and is what will power technology in the future.” the young Filipino programmer said.
From teaching a single public school Isabel taught a handful of schools later on. Last 2016 she was invited to talk at the Rappler Social Good Summit 2016. On the same year she was also invited to the 4th Python Conference alongside with another young Filipino programmer Austin Imperial.
After that doors have opened to this young programmer with invites from several companies including one from the Google Developers Group in the Philippines. An invitation was sent to her to talk at a Google coding event in the office of Google in the Philippines and was also asked to visit the offices of the said company in California.
Numerous companies are also eager to help Isabel with her goals. One of them is Accenture.
“Accenture just organized and hosted an amazing Girls Will Code event that exposed over 40 girls to code, and other companies offer to buy our offline kits to teach those without access to computers,” Isabel says.
Balancing school and work
At such a young age Isabel has accomplished so much and she has more doors to open. While being a full time CEO of the Girls will Code organization she has to keep up with her studies.
“Sometimes I would have to skip classes, and it was just a huge hassle,” Isabel says. “We are working with Google and Accenture to train girls 10-16 to be Ambassadors for Girls Will Code, so they can help build a community, rather than piling all the teaching on myself.”
Even though it is hard and there’s a significant amount of pressure put on her young shoulders. Isabel says the best part of it all is the results. “”It’s an amazing feeling when you see how much a girl has learned or how they have been inspired.” she says.
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