Detroit’s Atomic Object Bitcamp and Community Classes

By Amanda Lewan on April 22nd, 2013 / Comments

It’s no secret that less and less women are entering technology career paths than men, and that this creates a lack of diversity, creativity, and perspective in the field.

Detroit’s Atomic Object is helping combat this lack of women programmers by hosting their Bitcamp for Detroit girls. The program is designed to introduce 7th and 8th grade girls to coding and also show them all of the career opportunities available in tech.

“We’re a small company so we only have limited resources, but when we came to Detroit we wanted to take what we have and give back to the community,” said Managing Partner Bruce Watson. “If we really truly believe in the revitalization of Detroit than this is what we do.”

Bruce said that the number of women entering computer science have dropped to around ten percent.

“Everyone is speculating what the problem is, but everyone is in agreement that so few women coming into computer science is a problem,” said Bruce. “We are convinced that this career given its high amount of communication, creativity, and teamwork, is equal to any career out there for women. It’s well paid, self-empowering, and there’s lots of opportunity.”

The custom software company began in Grand Rapids and moved to Detroit less than a year ago, hosting their first Bitcamp in August shortly after arriving to the city, and their second one just last month on March 18th.

At the last Bitcamp, eight Detroit girls spent the day learning basic HTML and CSS, with a light introduction to JavaScript. The camp typically teaches around 20 students, but had unpredictable Michigan snow in March. The girls were excited and wanted to learn more.

“It was really fun, the students who were here didn’t even want to take breaks they were having so much fun,” said Bruce.

Detroit’s Tech Educational Community

Detroit is home to a number of tech educational groups including Digerati Girls, Girl Develop it Detroit, Develop Detroit, Founder Campus, Detroit Rails, and Grand Circus. Atomic Object frequently opens their doors to this community, allowing these smaller groups to host classes in their space, eat their snacks, and ultimately work together to strengthen Detroit’s technology community.

Bruce looks forward to developing a stronger, ongoing programming camp, hopefully teaming up with Girl Develop it Detroit and other local groups.

“It’s really exciting that’s these educational groups are starting around Metro Detroit, but now we’re starting to work together,” said Bruce.

Atomic Object also helps local tech startups by opening their work space to mentorship and free office space. Their current startup in residence is Detroit’s payment app Glyph, which has been gaining momentum on the second version of their payment app.

Atomic Object poses a great model for companies in Detroit that need to work together in order to strengthen Detroit’s Tech Hub.

What if every company opened their doors to workshops, community events, and startup mentoring? This would surely create a stronger community, but strength and skills training can start early empowering Detroit girls with the skills to code.

Similar Article: Addressing Mchigan’s Tech Skills

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.