ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There’s something unique about LaunchCode’s latest graduation of brand new computer programmers. This entire class is women.

It’s intimidating for anybody to change up careers, but making it easier for Alex Martellaro was that the former journalist learned the Java programming language through the Coder Girl program. She says the all-women class shared similar experiences.

codergirl St. Louis Coder Girls Help Each Other Create New Careers“We all could talk about our other jobs, our home lives, a lot of the women were mothers, a lot of us worked full-time,” she said.

Sally Steuterman, LaunchCode’s education program manager, says women often face challenges being looked at for their individual value to the company or project.

“It’s not just ‘hey we need to hire more women.. 20 women into jobs.. success’,” Steuterman said. “It’s about 20 women coming into a career and being ready to grow … knowing they’re there not because of some statistic, but because they’re really good at what they do.”

We’ve heard about how in St. Louis and nationally there are more tech jobs than people to fill them. Martellaro says your favorite company probably has a tech need.

“I worked at Panera when I was in college slinging bagels,” she said, and “I’ve applied for a job on their tech side now that I have these skills. Every company has developers.”

Her advice to those thinking about coding as a new career?

“It’s scary but you just gotta jump and do it,” she said. “You’re going to be fine.”

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