LadyDev exists to spread equality with knowledge

The LadyDev logo. Courtesy of Bailey Steinfadt

As a female software developer, Jesse Benson wanted to meet more ladies doing the same work she’s doing.

So Benson attempted to start a Des Moines chapter of Women Who Code earlier this year but was rejected.

“They got back to me saying Des Moines is too small and there’s not enough interest,” Benson explained Monday. “So I said, hmm, time to prove you wrong.”

After a post on the Des Moines Girl Gang Facebook page, she met Bailey Steinfadt and the duo founded LadyDev.

LadyDev is an organization focused on peer knowledge sharing by and for women developers and their supporters from peer-led study groups, courses and workshops.

“It’s knowledge sharing, that’s our main goal,” Benson says. “To share knowledge that we have and hopefully host classes, tutorials, whatever for women and women supporters. That can be anyone really, anyone who supports the goals of having more female equality in the development-sphere.”

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The space inside the Gravitate at Valley Junction was full Saturday for the first LadyDev event. Over 20 people attended. Photo courtesy of Bailey Steinfadt

First event was Saturday

The Gravitate in Valley Junction hosted over 20 people Saturday during the first-ever event for LadyDev.

The event was known as PLIBMTTBHGATY—Programming Languages I’ve Been Meaning To Try But Haven’t Gotten Around To Yet.

Steinfadt—who works on Greenhouse automation and robotics at Pioneer—said the conversation Saturday centered around programming languages, system development and how to get a job in tech with various job strategies.

“We had several people ask to have essentially the same event again,” Steinfadt said.

Steinfadt said anyone can sign up for topics to talk about or teach to the group, from programming languages to learning strategies.

“It doesn’t matter, we are all here to learn,” Steinfadt says. “We walk in the door admitting there’s something we don’t know and everybody has something to teach as well, no matter how much of a beginner you are.”

Benson hopes more people—men and women—get together to share knowledge in development.

“If anyone has something that comes easy to them, it’s definitely hard for somebody else,” she says.