Girl Develop It Buffalo celebrates first anniversary with free party open to the public

It’s about education, skills, and empowerment, but it’s also about community and making connections. That’s what Girl Develop It Buffalo (GDI) hopes to continue to build as the group celebrates their one year anniversary party at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at the WNY Books Arts Center in Buffalo.

The event is free, but requires registration and will feature food, drinks, games, prizes and a round of five-to-six minute lighting talks from members of the group. Chapter founder Elena Moiseeva sees it both as a celebration, a social event and as a way for the public to come out and learn more about the GDI group.

The group is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible programs to women (and men!) who want to learn software development through mentorship and hands-on instructed classes. At the anniversary celebration, Moiseeva said she plans to talk about what the group has achieved in the first year and plans for this year including an expanded curriculum offering both front-end and back-end track classes.

Several members of the group (which is open and free to join on MeetUp.com) have cited the benefits of having a community of like-minded women who are involved in technology.

“The ‘Code and Coffee’ nights have helped me meet women in Buffalo who also code or learn for fun, and that made moving back here so, so nice!” said Wendy Jansson, a computer engineering student at the University of Buffalo. “GDI also helped me attend my first programming conference in October. It’s been great so far, and I’m looking forward to PHP and some other back-end-track classes with GDI Buffalo this year.”

Another member of the group, Jessica Hyejin Lee, took a Ruby on Rails class with the group. Moiseeva, encouraged her to participate in Buffalo Startup Weekend because Lee told Moiseeva she had an idea for a mobile app. Startup Weekend help create the team to build Lee’s app and now she will be presenting it at a conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in April.

All of this would not have been possible if GDI did not exist to introduce them and create that connection said Moiseeva.

“The last year, GDI helped create a bridge between women and other tech events in Buffalo and other communities out there,” said Moiseeva. “We help to connect people with courses and benefits they can benefit from.”