From dreading work to thriving in it, women coders excelling in tech

From dreading work to thriving in it, Gerrae Cotton made a complete 360 when she came across an advertisement inviting women to learn how to code. 

"It was miserable, the hours were terrible. I didn't really have the people around me on a daily basis, just wasn't a good work environment and now that I'm in technology, it is totally different. I love my team! I love my hours and I love the work that I do. My voice is valued at work," she said.

Detroit's Grand Circus offered 20 scholarships for women for classes to learn how to code. Cotton signed up and now has a job at Quicken Loans.

"Coding is for everyone. If you are able to problem solve, think through things, and be very detail oriented, you can pick it up. It's all about pattern recognition and it's all about trying things, learning things and anybody can code," she said.

Sometimes when you hear about coding, you might think you have excel at math or science. That's just not the case, according to those who will choose the next 20 receipients of that Grand Circus scholarship.

"Coding can be intimidating. We get a lot of people both men and women that come in and say hey I'm not good at math, I'm not good at science. You don't have to be good at math or science. In fact, we don't even require them to have a background in coding to take the Boot Camp. We give them the resources they need to learn along the way," Celena Mancina said.

Grand Circus teamed up with TEKsystems in 2016 and pumped $300,000 into the scholarships. So far, 60 women have taken the classes and are now working at DTE, Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many more. They're working in the software sector and many never thought they could.  

"We really really try to encourage our students women specifically to understand that they can do it, you were here and we chose you for a reason and we believe in you," Mancina said.

The requirement is need-based, so your household salary will play a part.  

"We really Need more women in technology as as a software engineer. There are very few women very few black women so I encourage everybody to apply and try it. The worst thing they can say is no," WHO said.