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Etsy to send female programmers to summer hacker school

April 06, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • "HACK," Facebook's motto of moving fast and breaking things, is scrawled on walls around its new 57-acre headquarters in Menlo Park.
"HACK," Facebook's motto of moving fast and breaking… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods, is sending women to Hacker School this summer.

Marc Hedlund, Etsy’s vice president of engineering, said that in his career he has hired hundreds of men but only dozens of women.

“Other managers I know have reported similar experiences,” Hedlund wrote in a blog post.

So Etsy is hosting the summer 2012 session of Hacker School at its New York City headquarters, and it’s offering 10 $5,000 grants to women who want to join but need financial assistance.

“Our goal is to bring 20 women to New York to participate, and we hope this will be the first of many steps to encourage more women into engineering at Etsy and across the industry,” Hedlund wrote.

Etsy’s initiative will also boost the Hacker School’s female participation. Since it launched in July 2011, it has had only one woman take part in its three-month hack sessions. A prerequisite to attend Hacker School: must love programming.

“We want people who love programming who want to be hackers, we don’t focus on people who want to make a product or become entrepreneurs,” Sonali Sridhar, one of the school’s co-founders, told Mashable. “It’s a nurturing community in that sense.”

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