Feature Model Practice Code Camps


Square, Inc.

Industry: Technology

Principle VI: Civic and Community Engagement

2014 Challenge Submission

Square has been passionate about diversity since it was founded in 2009. Each year, Square helps to empower and elevate women in their careers, and expands its programs that encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering and technology.

One of the many programs offered by Square is its High School and College Code Camps. The five-day College Code Camp immersion program started in 2012 and is built to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of women in technology. It uses leadership sessions, coding workshops, and a hackathon to bring together women engineering students and build a stronger community around women in technology. High School Code Camp is an eight-month program designed to inspire and educate high school women and prepare them for the AP Computer Science exam.

“Code Camp showed me that not only are there incredible women in computer science, but there's also a ton of support out there. The experiences I had at Code Camp and the people I met there have solidified my passion for computer science.”
Ashley Smith,
MIT Class of 2015

How does this model practice work?

High School Code Camp – The students meet twice a week, two hours at a time at Square’s San Francisco office. The day begins with a short lecture prepared and taught by Square engineers and then followed by hands-on coding work. Every fourth week is Hack Week, where students apply the concepts they learned to build a working demo of a feature. At the end of eight months, students have the option to take the AP Computer Science exam. Square accepts eight local students into its program.

College Code Camp – College Code Camp is available to any woman who is 18 years or older, enrolled as a full-time student at a university, and pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related technical major. There are no technical requirements, but applicants are encouraged to submit any technical work they’ve completed—whether an app, website, or any code hosted on Github. The program runs twice a year, every January and August, and Square accepts 20 students per session.

The 20 young women are introduced to Square engineers and its inspiring women executives, including CFO Sarah Friar, Business Lead Françoise Brougher, and Engineering Lead Alyssa Henry. By hosting and building Code Camp in-house, Square is able to expose the young women to a wide variety of opportunities in engineering.

How can I adopt this model practice in my workplace?

Square has a supportive culture that stems from its leaders. They empower internal advocates and provide anyone with the tools and resources for them to be successful. Square also collaborates with other technology companies around the San Francisco Bay Area, leveraging these resources to benefit young women.

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