Alaina Percival, CEO of  Women Who Code .

Alaina Percival, CEO of Women Who Code.

Excerpt from Alena Starostina's interview with Alaina Percival in Tech Fashionist.

Learning to code is challenging, but it is a valuable asset to have when venturing on a new career path in tech.

Can you give us a little bit of background on Women Who Code?

Women Who Code provides an avenue for women to move into technology. If you've never written a line of code before, or you've worked in tech but have been on the product or marketing side, you can come to our event as a beginner and learn to code for the first time. Secondly, we provide an opportunity for women to advance in their careers. We are very driven to build programs and opportunities that are going to result in women going from an individual contributor to a director, to vice president of engineering, to entrepreneur, or even venture. The third and perhaps most important element we provide is an environment where networking and mentorship is valued.

Our programs are very event-driven. For example, we have 6,000 women in the San Francisco Bay Area and we run about six events per week that cover five different programming languages: JavaScript, Python, Ruby, iOS, and Android. We also assist in algorithm as well as technical interviewing, along with career and leadership development. These reflect typical events that are done on a weekly basis. They are all free and occasionally feature tech industry experts and investors.

How can we ensure greater numbers of women entering, remaining in, and climbing the corporate ladder in the tech industry?

It's a two part solution: one is getting more girls and women to choose to go into technology as a career, but also to get organizations such as Apple, Google, and Facebook to focus on how to keep women in technology and ensure that they are leveling up in their careers. If women don't stay in technology, no matter how many people we inspire to pursue tech, we won't be increasing the number because women leave the tech industry in much greater numbers than in other industries.