Newburgh Free Library to Host Open Hub’s Tech Fest

Mark Thursday December 8th on your calendars, it’s the next big step on the Hudson Valley’s road to technology-fueled growth. Open Hub is presenting, and the Newburgh Free Library is hosting a full day of panel discussions and cutting-edge presentations focused on jobs, change, and prosperity through digital technology.

The theme of this free event in two parts is Re-invent/ Re-imagine/ Re-Think > Innovate. The morning session is a conference, followed by an evening DevFest focused on trends in digital technology for developers.

The library’s doors open at 9:30 for the in-person conference that is also being live streamed. The What’s New, What’s Next panel has thought leaders from business and government sharing the table with people facing challenges finding meaningful work. The theme is that employers need to use technology to fulfill their mission and job seekers with tech skills possess valuable assets.

The Women Tech Makers panel features women telling their stories, pointing out the different challenges they face, and how they can effectively advocate for themselves as workers and entrepreneurs.

The conference is sponsored by Orange County Economic Development and Crown Castle. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

The evening session is a Developer’s Festival, or DevFest. This Google Developers Group sponsored event is streamed only. Innovators present new technology and applications that keep them ahead of the curve and in front of the competition in a challenging environment.

The Newburgh Free Library is located at 124 Grand Street. The DevFest will be screened in their Tech Hub for people who want a group viewing experience. The show starts at 4 PM.

Details are online at

Admission is free, reservations are recommended. RSVP at Eventbrite

HVTech Reinvigoration Workshop 2

November 10th crowd brainstorming workshop was set as a continuation for our efforts to reinvigorate once thriving tech community of the Hudson Valley, NY.

At our first one we were able to define core Purpose-Principles-Participants-Practices we’d like to see. For the second one we decided to play with another Liberating Structure frequently used to facilitate innovative brainstormings.

The TRIZ exercise allows participants to brainstorm what are the things that we can do badly or cause our efforts to fail. This creates a light-hearted way to look at success and failure factors for a project.  We applied this exercise to holding technology events (formerly HVTech; new name TBD)

The first question we asked our participants was “What are the ways that we can work together or separately to make sure that Hudson Valley Tech Meetup fails?”  We received multiple answers including, no agenda, no refreshments, having topics completely irrelevant to the participants, holding events in an uncomfortable location (no chairs),  no socialization between participants, sell attendees data, having a political agenda, Argue, Intimidate others, really confusing speakers, set up people to be adversarial to each other, form non-inclusive groups, be overly critical, blatantly use the group for personal gain, and hold public shaming sessions.  These suggestions were discussed with good hilarity and humor.  We found that the participants gathered steam and ran out of time before running out of ideas.

The next question we asked was “Which ones are happening now?”  Answers included not adapting to changes resulting from COVID, be inflexible about trying different event structures, no community guidelines, have no clear organizational structure, no Q&As, hold meetings in places where it is difficult to attend, and too many sales presentations.  This discussion helped the participants discover that their worst practices are sometimes in play.  Knowing this helps us to avoid those destructive practices into the future.

The last question we asked was “What are the first steps you can take, either individually or as a group, to prevent steps that will undermine Hudson Valley Tech Meetup?”  Answers included: Happy hour for remote workers, meet local tech workers and hear about the cool things that they are working on, come up with meeting ideas that will likely engage people, have multiple chairs, collaborative projects, be open-minded, and provide feedback.  At this point the discussion really devolved into traveling down the rabbit holes of some of these ideas. Our take on the entire evening was that it was useful to air these ideas and engage potential participants and organizers.  We do feel that this was a “mission accomplished.” Others of us felt that we did not get deep enough into the topics to make a difference and that in order to make a difference we needed to drill down into some of these ideas further.

We circulated a quick survey asking about preferences for location for meetings (evenly distributed between Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and Kingston), frequency of meetings (50% wanted monthly), interests to be covered (most people were interested in networking, followed by special tech topics, specific speakers, and finding out about new businesses), format of meetings (60% wanted both remote and in-person and 40% wanted physical), and lastly, what topics/companies/technologies of interest (machine learning, cybersecurity, education, broadband, design, game development, scripting languages, web development, data analytics, no code/low code, and emerging technologies especially locally to the Hudson Valley.  Participants suggested some emphasis on socializing and networking to ensure attendance and enjoyment for continued attendance.

Unplugged Computer Science Fair Recap November 5th

Thank you to everyone who helped organize the CSTA Mid-Hudson Valley and OpenHub Computer Science Day on November 5th! Almost 300 people participated in our day of fun and educational coding/computer science events. 16 tables with different unplugged activities, coding books and prizes were run by amazing Hudson Valley teachers from FDR, Kingston John, Jay Beacon, RCK, and Ulster Boces schools.

Around 50 passionate high school students came to engage young children and their parents in the following events:

  • Treasure hunts
  • Rubix cube algorithms
  • Using beads and string to create a message on a necklace by using binary numbers that correspond to ASCII values
  • Robot drawing
  • Water piano
  • Sorting games
  • Magic tricks demonstrations
  • Building the Worlds’ largest Emojis with physical pixels
  • Makey Makey and other algorithmic game
  • Computer Science children’s books

This event was designed to show Hudson Valley kids how magical coding and computer science can be, and to encourage them to have fun while learning!

A bright future lies in the hands of the new generation in Hudson Valley’s tech scene, and we are committed to not only ensuring that they have access to this education, but also encouraging them to fall in love with tech and the many ways it can be applied to daily and professional life. By having the opportunity to practice logic and computational thinking, problem solving, collaboration, leadership, and so much more, they can develop many useful skills.

David Czechowski, CS teacher at Hyde Park Schools, says:

“We are all consumers and users of computing technologies because they have become a significant part of nearly every aspect of our lives.  All students should have the opportunity to learn the computational thinking skills necessary to become creators in this digital world. Events like this provide a chance for community members to see how learning computer science can begin in elementary years and doesn’t have to be just about “code”.  Algorithms, sensors, robotics can all bring computer science to life!” 

We are glad to have been able to work with local teachers and students to facilitate this happening, and are proud of the vigor with which our community supports tech education.

Jocelyn Humphries, Educator, Innovator, CSTA Mid-Hudson Valley & Wappingers Central School District, shared:

The new state standards for Computer Science and Digital Fluency are due to be implemented in NYS next year. It is our hope that events like this one can get our youngest students excited to learn about Computer Science and might even help a few teachers in the crowd see that the lessons are not only doable, but just might be the high point of everyone’s day.

Introducing children to computer science and coding early shows them that they aren’t as intimidating as they may seem, instead, they are tools that will drive success, innovation, development, and creativity. Events like these bring down barriers to tech education and make it available for all, boosting the opportunities for our community. The success of this event shows just how much potential Hudson Valley has, and how many brilliant minds we already have working on inspiring more e computer science lovers.

We’ve loved hearing all the praise and support for Computer Science Day at Galeria Mall, and we can say for certain that the best feedback has come from students, teachers, parents, and kids asking: When are we doing it again? 

Look out for more events coming soon, get involved in the tech community, and remember to keep learning. There is no limit to what you can do when you unlock the power of computer science!

These 4 community partners are helping make a difference in Poughkeepsie!

Knowledge. Skills. Education. Work. Finances. Shopping. It’s more true now than ever before: the world has gone digital.

Unfortunately, that means inequality has gone digital, too.

The “Digital Divide” separates those who are able to benefit from information and communications technologies… and those who are at a disadvantage due to a lack of access. In the United States, the digital divide is “one of America’s leading economic and civil rights issues,” according to a 1999 NTIA report.

The Hudson Valley is no different. New Yorkers who lack internet access (predominantly lower income individuals of color) aren’t able to search for jobs, attend classes, make payments, or take part in our culture and economy to their fullest potential.

And the Covid-19 pandemic has only made their situation worse.

Open Reboot students
Pilot program for 6 students started May 18th, 2021

At OpenHub Project, we are working to help address the digital divide in our communities by making educational opportunities available for new tech users to learn essential digital skills.

This year, we launched a new program in Poughkeepsie: OPEN REBOOT! A talented group of Poughkeepsie youth spent five weeks refurbishing computers and studying digital space. Guided by their OpenHub mentors, they engaged with dynamic, hands-on learning experiences twice a week. They are able to refurbish and upgrade donated computers to take them home.

Open Reboot studentThe program was a great success, but we would not have been able to do it without the help of our valued community partners. With the deepest gratitude, we wish to thank the following organizations for making OPEN REBOOT possible:

  • Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, for providing instructional space and storage of class resources.
  • One Stop Dutchess County, participant recruitment, youth engagement and evaluation.
  • Workforce Development Institute, for funding and overall support.
  • Dutchess County government, for the donation of 10 computers to refurbish.

This is just the beginning for the OPEN REBOOT program, and that’s just one small part of the work we do. But, as always, we are grateful to be a part of a community so rich with talent, dedication, and potential.

Together, we can close the digital divide in the Hudson Valley! To learn more about who we are and what we do, click here to join us for a meetup!

computer refeurbishing
computer refurbishing. Students help each other
Open Reboot students receive certificates from Dutchess County
Open Reboot students receive certificates from Dutchess County…
students receive certificates from OpenHub
… and OpenHub. Provided stipend will allow students to upgrade their computers further
graduation ceremony
Thanks to all partners – Workforce Development Institute, Dutchess County government, One Stop Dutchess, OpenHub and… students working hard to take refurbished computers home


Why Python?

The 5 Biggest Reasons You Should Learn The Programming Language of Tomorrow… Today!
Python’s star continues to be on the rise. The powerful and popular programming language seems to grow more influential each day. Whether you’re a beginner learning to program for the first time, or an experienced programmer thinking about making the switch, there’s never been a better time to learn Python. Read on for the 5 biggest reasons you should learn to program with Python today!

5) It’s quick and easy to learn
For an experienced programmer, it’s very easy to make the switch to Python from any other language. But it’s also quick and easy for beginners to pick up, as well! With its simplified syntax and clean design philosophy, Python is one of the most accessible programming languages available. It’s designed to be easy to read and write. That readability makes it especially efficient to maintain and update.

4) It has versatile applications
Beyond being easy to learn and use, Python is also universal.
It’s designed to be a “general purpose” language, and its cross-platform compatibility makes it very powerful. Python supports many operating systems and, as an interpreted language, it enables you to run code on different platforms without recompiling. Learning Python makes you a versatile employee, too; you’ll be able to hop to a different industry without missing a beat.

3) It’s widely-used
Python is useful for almost any industry. Finance, healthcare, insurance. Aerospace, entertainment, web development. Python is even used in academia. Google started using Python for many applications in 2006, and even created a dedicated Python portal. Spotify and Netflix use Python for certain applications. And the Dropbox desktop client is entirely written in Python. And it won’t be going away anytime soon. Top computer science programs, such as at MIT and Berkely, are teaching students Python right now. So it really is the language of tomorrow!

2) It’s the language of data science and analytics
Python isn’t the only language used for data science and analytics, but it is among the most popular. Many data processing workloads, and most R&D all take place in Python. It also has amazing libraries that are often used for machine learning, and other applications. Demand for data science continues to rise, which puts anyone who knows Python in a great position for success.

Which brings us to the #1 reason you should learn Python today…

1) The Supportive Community
The Python community is over 30 years old, and they remain very active. That means there are plenty of tutorials and video guides, and lots of documentation. What’s more, there will always be somebody there to help you with any problem, any time. When it comes to learning an important new skill, help and support from a great community is always invaluable.
Honorable Mention: Inspired by Monty Python
Why is Python called Python? Because creator Guido van Rossum was watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus while developing the language. The Monty Python influence is still part of the Python culture today… keeping the language fun to use is always a priority.

As you can see, there are lots of great reasons to learn Python today. But where do you begin? By signing up for our OpenHub Data Analytics Bootcamp! Click here to learn more:

Meet Your New Mentor

Join OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp

Computer science professor. Data Scientist. Researcher. Software applications developer. Business owner. All-around nerd.

Meet your new mentor.

Students of OpenHub System’s Data Analytics Bootcamp will spend six months learning from Cynthia V. Marcello, DM.

The Hudson Valley’s only Data Analytics Boot Camp is an intensive, hand’s-on learning experience. Fortunately, Cynthia has the experience and know-how to get you job-ready in six months. As an experienced professor of computer science for the past 14 years, she has a demonstrated history of working in higher education. And after 25 years of experience working with a diverse range of businesses, corporations, and government and educational agencies, she has the knowledge you need to succeed.

Cynthia V. Marcello, DM is a tech solopreneur, software applications developer, data scientist, and business management consultant.

She has developed data-driven applications for the Department of Defense. She has created custom software applications for corporations, and order-entry and production systems for online retailers. She also provides custom training in technology using her own curriculum. Cynthia is the founder and host of Data-Driven Divas, an online community designed to support women small business owners and managers seeking to enhance their data-driven decision-making skills. She’s skilled in Computer Science Data Analytics, Database Design and Development, Systems Analysis, and Project Management.

A classic systems thinker, Cynthia strives to empower others with understanding.

Human and systems behaviors impact the daily experience of life for us all. Cynthia seeks to align and implement technology with these systems.

Her education includes a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems and Technology. She also holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in E-Business, and a Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Want to be a part of OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp, and spend six months learning from Cynthia? Don’t miss your chance!

Click here to join today:

Is data analytics right for you?

“Is data analytics right for me?”

OpenHub has the answers to your questions.

If you’re an adult looking for a career change, a high schooler looking to learn practical skills, or someone who already works in the basic technology space, the answer to that question may be yes!

Going into data analytics offers plenty of benefits. It’s a growing job market that offers lucrative career tracks. And, with OpenHub ‘s Data Analytics Bootcamp, you could be job-ready in just six months!

If you lean more towards analytical thinking when it comes to work and problem solving, you enjoy connecting the dots based on the facts and you’re a naturally curious person, you are a great fit to become an amazing and successful Data Analyst!

To learn more about what data analytics is, why it matters, and why OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp may be right for you, read on!

What is data analytics?

Knowledge is power. But how do we approach examining the largest datasets to uncover hidden patterns and meaningful insights? That’s where data analytics comes in. In simple terms, data analytics involves using specialized systems to understand what large amounts of raw data can tell us.

Data analytics can help companies make better, more effective and efficient decisions. It can reduce costs, gauge customer needs, predict and improve business performance, and more.

As you can imagine, data analytics skill sets are in high demand. And demand is only getting higher!

Will I be able to find a good job?

The short answer? Probably! Data analytics is one of the most popular and fast-growing job markets available, and skills in this field are needed in a wide range of industries.

According to the World Economic Forum, 85% of companies will have adopted big data and analytics technologies by 2022. And 96% of companies will be seeking to hire new permanent staff.

The career tracks are lucrative, too. According to, the average data scientist will earn over $123,000 in 2021. Salaries for data scientists with less than a year of experience start at over $104,000 on average.

How do I begin?

OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp is an intensive, hands-on learning experience. Bootcamp is focused on essential, in-demand skills based on industry best practices, you’ll be job-ready in just six-months.

All our instructors are local, experienced professionals who are passionate about the growing Hudson Valley tech community. The skills you’ll learn in these courses are sought-after, and based on industry best practices.

This is the Hudson Valley’s only Data Analytics Boot Camp — and no prior experience is necessary to join.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Sign up here:

How Coding Is a Way Out of Poverty

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

We are often under the impression that it is difficult to change our position in society. Those born into poverty often have only the slimmest chances of breaking the cycle. However, there are exceptions. Currently, one of the top ways kids are finding a breakthrough from poverty is through coding.

Coding Breaks the Cycle of Poverty Like Nothing Else

Most skilled careers require a formal education, which may be out of reach for many in poverty. There are many barriers to overcome, including the high fees of a university degree.

Coding is not like that. Anyone can learn to code with just a computer and internet access — although it is preferable to also have a teacher or mentor. In addition, unlike other computer-based skills (such as graphic design), the tools to learn to code are inexpensive.

In fact, once you have the hardware, most tools are free. Browsers and text editors are free and the most popular back-end languages, web servers, database engines, and other tools, libraries, and frameworks are free and open source

Finally, there’s the fact that students who decide to learn coding tend to enjoy it. They gain a sense of achievement when they finish a project and often have a feeling of control over their life, which they may never have experienced before. This is motivating and leads them to want to continue building skills, perhaps even through a career in computer science.

Starting Young Is Beneficial

Like with any skill, it’s beneficial to start learning to code young. However, coding also has some additional advantages for young students, including those who ultimately choose careers in something other than tech.

Critical thinking — To code effectively, it’s necessary to look at problems critically, breaking them down into smaller steps. Students can apply this type of thinking to all sorts of other problems.

Creativity — The best results from coding come from creative solutions. Seeing the results they are able to produce gives kids more confidence in their creative abilities.

Problem solving — One creative skill related to coding in particular is problem solving, since coding is all about finding new solutions.

Math skills — Math at school can often feel abstract and irrelevant. Through applied logic and data analysis, coding brings meaning back to math.

Resilience — Students will find that fail plenty when they code, but this can actually be one of the enjoyable aspects of the activity. The improved resilience this creates in kids is hugely useful for helping them face challenges throughout their lives.

It’s Never Too Late

There tends to be an emphasis on teaching kids to code — to give them more opportunities when they grow up. However, there’s no need for coding to be limited to youth; after all, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. In fact, learning to code as an adult can open more doors and lead to better employment.

The great thing about coding is you can learn at your own pace. In other words, there’s no need to have years of experience. If you’re able to put in the time, you will learn — although you will need to work hard to catch up with someone who has been coding regularly from a young age.

Why Coding Matters

Coding isn’t just useful on an individual level — it’s important for society, too. Plus, it’s constantly becoming more important. There’s always a demand for coders to work on problems that only technology can solve. This means there will never be too many coders. Even an influx of coders could only help: it would mean the chance to solve more problems and faster.

Furthermore, it’s important to gain more perspectives when striving to solve problems. Since the programming field is currently dominated by white men from a middle-class background, more kids from diverse backgrounds would mean fresh perspectives throughout the tech industry.

Barriers to Coding

Of course, it’s never as simple as just deciding you want to code, particularly if you’re a kid. The biggest challenge is finding opportunities. For one thing, many people in poverty lack a computer at home.

Plus, even if a student does have a home computer or the chance to use a computer at school or in a public place, it is difficult to learn alone. Whereas there are many videos to follow online, students require guidance from a teacher to know how to implement what they’re learning. Unfortunately, some areas of the country only have a few trained teachers, which means many students who would like to learn coding may be unable to do so.

Another barrier is time. It takes many hours of practice to become a proficient coder. Students need to receive regular training, which again requires plenty of opportunities to learn with a mentor.

Lastly, there’s the fact that coding is difficult. It requires dedication, practice, and a willingness to put in the effort to keep learning. To succeed, students need to be motivated and schedule time to learn for a few hours each week. There are always areas for improvement as well as new coding languages to learn — and it’s not simply a case of transferring your knowledge: there’s a huge amount of new information to take in.

Overcoming These Barriers

The good news is there are ever more nonprofits and other organizations offering additional opportunities, including courses, boot camps, and digital inclusion programs. These opportunities are often aimed at disadvantaged groups of the population to fill the gap left by schools that often cannot provide sufficient resources for everyone.

One project breaking down the barriers named above is OpenHub. It provides guidance on careers in tech, specialty boot camps for rapid reskilling / start for a tech career, engaging best mentors to share their best practices and proven frameworks and scenarios to learn and apply real-life skills. See more about OpenHub’s boot camps. By pairing young coders with experienced developers in the Hudson Valley and beyond, OpenHub gives everyone the chance to collaborate and improve their skills. Participants work together on real projects, which gives them a chance to see how their coding skills have an actual impact. In fact, OpenHub goes a step further than many other projects: it allows people to use coding as a way out of poverty for themselves and to help others in their community.

Coders can test and apply the skills they learned during HVTechFest Hackathons to experience real-life working scenarios in the tech and startup world.

The Top 8 Women Who Are Changing Tech in America

When people think of the tech industry, it’s often names of men that come to mind. This is a shame because there’s a large number of marvelous women in tech who deserve the spotlight just as much as men. In fact, there are far too many innovative and influential women in tech to fit into one list — this is just a selection of some of the most noteworthy.

  1. Reshma Saujani

    Having studied law at Harvard University and Yale Law School, Reshma Saujani intended to be a lawyer and politician. Unfortunately, she lost her primary running for Congress in 2010 — but this ended up taking her in a new and important direction.

In 2012, Saujani founded the nonprofit Girls Who Code. The organization offers support for young women who want to enter the computer science field by helping them to acquire the necessary skills. Ultimately, the goal of Girls Who Code is to close the gender achievement gap in tech and change society’s ideas about what a programmer looks like.

  1. Katie Haun

    Another lawyer turned tech pioneer is Katie Haun. She actually started her tech career after receiving an assignment from the U.S. federal attorney to investigate bitcoin — with the aim of shutting the cryptocurrency down. After realizing the impossibility of the task, Haun went in the complete opposite direction and became a cryptocurrency expert. Plus, she used the understanding of blockchain she gained to prosecute cases of extortion and white-collar crime.

Now, Haun is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and co-heads the cryptocurrency team. The firm currently has two funds invested in crypto companies and protocols, which together are valued at $865 million.

  1. Susan Wojcicki

    Today the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki has been working at Google since 1999. She was the company’s first marketing manager and only its sixteenth employee. After becoming senior vice president of advertising and commerce (which involved managing Google’s video service), Wojcicki suggested the company acquire YouTube in 2006.

YouTube was only the first of Wojcicki’s acquisitions — she also handled the purchase of DoubleClick a year later. She then transitioned to CEO of YouTube in 2014. These numerous achievements led to Wojcicki being named the most important person in advertising by AdWeek in 2013 and her appearing in Time magazine’s 2015 list of the 100 most influential people.

  1. Yulia Ovchinnikova

    With her master’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics followed by a PhD in economics, Yulia Ovchinnikova was the recognized Internet influencer and Digital Divide expert in Russia. She initiated Russian Internet Governance Forum and Internet Awareness program for the youth creating an open discussion on how to make the Internet open and affordable for all. This initiative was one of the key stepping stones toward affordable Internet in Russia – the average plan is $10/month for high-speed broadband to the home.

She discovered Digital Divide being even worse in the US. She believes Internet connectivity is essential for economic development and Digital skills / Tech skills are crucial for professional growth and economic development. Looking for her tech tribe she became a passionate tech leader and advocate for a technology-driven approach.

In 2016 she launched OpenHub for rapid workforce reskilling in technology. She believes Combining Technology with Entrepreneurship, and Education with Real Projects built through Collaboration, can elevate people’s lives and brains. OpenHub offers IT support professional certificate, Web Development and Data Analytics boot camps. These programs can be offered as an organic continuation for after school youth and continuing-education adults. The programs do not require any college degree while providing real-life skills needed for junior tech jobs encouraging people to collaborate on specific projects and challenges for professional and business growth.

In 2019 she launched the first-ever Hudson Valley Tech Festival to showcase technology, talent, and capability within the Hudson Valley region. It is proven OpenHub and HVTechFest bring people together around technology and entrepreneurship through collaboration – creating conditions for personal and regional growth. As a matchmaker in tech, she works on creating awareness about tech and equipping people with tech skills toward a better future.

  1. Angela Siefer

    Angela Siefer is the Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. Angela has been working in the field we now call digital inclusion since 1997. From physically set up computer labs in underserved areas and managing local digital inclusion programs to assisting with the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Adoption Toolkit and testifying before a U.S. Senate Sub-Committee, Angela develops national strategies and solutions from the ground up.

In 2015, Angela helped found the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices and local technology training and support programs. Government Technology Magazine named Angela one of their Top 25 Doers, Dreams, and Drivers of 2019.

  1. Karla Monterroso

    Another top woman in tech fighting for greater diversity is Karla Monterroso. Being both black and Latina, Monterroso has first-hand knowledge of the ethnicity opportunity gap. She is currently CEO of Code2040 — an organization committed to achieving racial equity in tech by breaking down barriers.

When Monterroso found out about Code2040, she knew almost immediately that it was something she wanted to be part of. In the seven years, she has been at the organization, Code2040 has increased from serving 25 students to 4,000 and has launched a number of new programs.

  1. Kimberly Bryant

    The Bay Area may be the go-to place for tech, but Kimberly Bryant was unable to find any computer programming courses suitable for her daughter there. The vast majority of students were boys and few courses had any black girls at all. An electrical engineer herself, Bryant didn’t want her daughter to relive her own negative experiences in a STEM field.

Bryant decided to take matters into her own hands. With only her 401(k) for investment capital, she founded the nonprofit Black Girls Code. The organization teaches African American girls basic programming to encourage them to stay in STEM. By 2040, her goal is to bring training to one million girls and increase representation for black women in the tech industry.

  1. Danah Boyd

    In addition to being a principal research at Microsoft Research, Danah Boyd is the founder of Data & Society. An independent research institute, Data & Society looks at the wider implications for a range of tech issues. Through their original research, the institute examines everything from AI and disinformation to the effects of technology on health.

Some of Boyd’s most important research to date has been on the impact of daily social media usage on young people. She has written one book by herself and co-authored two more on the topic.

With movements like Girls Who Code, Hackathons, and other programs encouraging more girls to enter tech, we can expect many more names to join the ranks of women in tech in the near future. Plus, these girls have women like those above to inspire them and to show them anything is possible.

The Women in Tech Movement: Girls Who Code

The tech sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. This is because tech offers the chance to solve real-world problems and to innovate. For those who choose a career in tech, it is also an opportunity to leave poverty behind.

However, there is currently a massive divide in tech: the field is dominated by men, and women are still not even considering a career in tech.

The digital divide between those who have access to tech and those who don’t is brutal. Throughout the country, there are people who have extremely limited access to affordable internet and even to modern computers. Girls in this situation fail to develop the digital skills that their counterparts are acquiring at a young age.

There are many other problems such as bad connection with teachers and mentors due to low internet connection and its high cost, limited public transportation, and lack of courses with modern technology frameworks.

The women in tech movement aims to change that — by putting girls and women in center stage.

Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani in 2012 – teaching girls not only to code, but what resilience, bravery, and sisterhood is.

Women in Tech is another global movement supported by Google that gathers all people, networks, and organizations that are engaged in bridging the gender gap in the technology sector by Helping Women embrace Tech.

One such remarkable initiative was started by Dr. Yulia Ovchinnikova with Open Hub in the Hudson Valley area.

Who Is Yulia Ovchinnikova & what is OpenHub?

Yulia Ovchinnikova is a Russian-born American entrepreneur who is passionate about improving girls’ participation in tech. In addition to a master’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics, she has a PhD in economics. She was also one of the internet development leaders in Russia during the first decade of the 21st century. In fact, she was the first woman elected to the Russian Internet Council, through which she launched Cyrillic TLD and, most importantly, began addressing the digital divide.

Dr. Ovchinnikova’s unique educational background and work experience puts her in the perfect position to tackle the challenges women in tech face.

In 2014, Dr. Ovchinnikova followed love and relocated to Newburgh, New York. She was surprised to find many similarities between this region and Russia. Today, she still lives in the Hudson Valley, NY. Perhaps this move was fate, as it revealed to Dr. Ovchinnikova the challenges that those who live in rural America face. In particular, it highlighted to her why women and girls are underrepresented in tech.

Noticing all these problems, Dr. Ovchinnikova strove to bring a solution to the Hudson Valley. From this desire, Open Hub was born in 2017.

As a connector and entrepreneur, Dr. Ovchinnikova knows how to use technology to create opportunities and transform business. Open Hub is a community enterprise that uses a technology-driven economic development approach. By combining tech, entrepreneurship, and education, it has launched initiatives like #HudsonValleyCanCode and #HVTechFest. In addition, it has created numerous opportunities for collaboration. By matching professionals with young coders, participants are able to see their impact on real projects.

The Girls Who Code Program – Newburgh chapter

As well as being an infectious leader, Dr. Ovchinnikova is a role model for women in tech. To tackle the issue of bringing more women to the tech world, she launched a Girls Who Code program in Newburgh in 2019. This is just one of many ed-tech programs from Open Hub.

The Girls Who Code program started in conjunction with the first Hudson Valley TechFest and Youth Hackathon. This proved to be a game-changer for the region. The Newburgh girls who participated in the Hackathon developed a can-do attitude and a sisterhood along with their tech skills. They have passed on this spirit to subsequent cohorts, which has led the whole movement to go viral.

The Hackathon demonstrated that youth in the Hudson Valley is committed to solving civic problems in their area. Not only that: they have what it takes to face the challenges around employability and professional sustainability.

This has been an exciting discovery for everyone from the organizers to the young participants. They all realized that they’re aligned in the same dream of making the Hudson Valley a better place to live and work. It has also become clear that technology will be the practical tool they need to accomplish their goals.

2021 Newburgh Girls Program opens doors on February 22nd

The Girls Who Code club continues today with the 2021 Newburgh Girls program. Once again, the program will be a partnership with the Newburgh Public Library and Rowley Family Foundation and will receive support from other stakeholders, including global organizations like Google. The initiative has the same objectives as always — to create opportunities in tech for girls, to impart leadership skills, and to help develop a sisterhood of support.

Like years past, the program will have an impact on much more than just the girls themselves. The initiative affects families, neighborhoods, and the Hudson Valley region as a whole. After all, even the largest changes have to begin locally — and then they often spread far wider than anyone would have imagined.

Open Hub hopes to use the initiative this year to send the message that dreams can come true.