Posts Tagged ‘Digigirlz’

The San Diego Digigirlz event, which I announced a while ago, took place last Friday. Last week 70 local middle and high-school girls attended the Microsoft Digigirlz camp at National University’s Technical Center in San Diego, California.

The girls attended five classes and training sessions during a nine-hour day.  These sessions covered Small Basic Programming, SQL Database theory, KODU game design, LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, and XBOX 360 Project Natal presentation. You can check out pictures from the San Diego Digigirlz here.

There are two more Digigirlz events in Southern California (SoCal) this April. One is in Irvine this  Friday, April 9th and the next one is in Los Angeles, next Friday, April 16th. The Irvine event is completely full; yet you can still register for the event in Los Angeles.

You may register through this link here or check out the registration section in the FAQ document. You can download the Socal Digigirlz FAQ as a Word document or PDF document.

Irvine Digigirlz Event – Date: Friday, April 9th, 2010

Registration will begin at 8:00am.  The camp begins at 8:30am and continues until 3:30pm

Irvine Digigirlz Event – Location:

The Irvine event will take place at the Microsoft Technology Center (3 Park Plaza, Irvine, CA 92614).

Los Angeles Digigirlz Event – Date: Friday, April 16th, 2010

Registration will begin at 8:00am.  The camp begins at 8:30am and continues until 3:30pm

Los Angeles Digigirlz Event – Location:

The Los Angeles event will take place at the Microsoft Office in Downtown LA (333 South Gran Ave., LA, CA 90071).

If you know a girl, who would like to attend a SoCal Digigirlz event and take part in all the fun activities, register her to the Los Angeles event asap; spots are filled up quickly!

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Spring is here and again it is time for incredible Microsoft Digigirlz events in Southern California (SoCal). Digigirlz events give girls the opportunity to get information about careers in technology through hands-on classes, workshops and interactive demonstrations. There have been various Digigirlz events in the SoCal area, which all were a huge success and got positive feedback from attendees, teachers and parents. Throughout the event, girls get inspired and encouraged to learn more about technology and programming by doing fun activities and they get a chance to talk with women and girls, who already work in the tech industry.

The first upcoming Digigirlz event will be held next week in San Diego on Friday, April 2nd, 2010. The event is free, but registration fills up fast, so if you know a girl interested in/curious about technology, encourage her to sign-up for the event. The event will include sessions about Introduction to Programming with Small Basic, Kodu, T-SQL and Lego Mindstorms. You can find all the details about registration and the event in the FAQ section.  The location details for the San Diego Digigirlz event are displayed on the embedded map image.

Following the San Diego Digigirlz events, there will be an event on April 9 in Irvine and one on April 16 in Los Angeles. I am going to publish individual posts with location details for both events.

San Diego Digigirlz Event – Date: Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Registration will begin at 8:00am.  The camp begins at 8:30am and continues until 3:30pm.

Southern California DigiGirlz F.A.Q.

Q. How do girls register to attend a DigiGirlz Event?

A. Microsoft accepts 7th, 8th and high-school girls on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Schools can request to register girls for a DigiGirlz Event in their city by using the contact or registration information provided next to the city name in the list on this page. For general questions, contact digigirlz@live.com.
  • An individual girl who is currently in 7th grade or higher is welcome to apply for a DigiGirlz Event in her area by using the contact information provided in the list on this page or by sending an e-mail message with her name, her city and state, and the name of her school to digigirlz@live.com.

Q. How much does the event cost?

A. There is no cost associated with this event; Microsoft provides all resources and materials free of charge for the girls who attend.

Q. How does Microsoft choose the girls who attend?

A. Microsoft accepts girls and schools on a first-come, first-served basis. Local schools are encouraged to send in registration requests for their interested girls for this event as soon as possible.

Q. Is there an age requirement in order to be accepted to the DigiGirlz event?

A. You must be at least 13 years old OR in the 7th grade at the time of application to be eligible. If you are applying to a Summer camp, you must be entering the 7th grade in the Fall.

Q. Is there a GPA requirement in order to be accepted to the DigiGirlz Event?

A. No. There is not a GPA requirement.

Q. If a girl does not attend one of the targeted schools, can she still attend?

A. Yes. If the girl is currently in 7th grade or above, she is welcome to send a request to attend a DigiGirlz event in her area by using the contact information provided on this page or by sending an e-mail message with her name, her city and state, and the name of her school to digigirlz@live.com.

Q. I don’t live in the United States. May I still apply and attend?

A. Yes. All girls who meet the age and grade requirements are encouraged to apply to any of the camps. However, Microsoft does not provide lodging and transportation for the camp. It is up to you to make your own arrangements and pay for these expenses.

Q. Can teachers attend the event to better understand what their students are learning?

A. Yes. If teachers have students who will be attending the event, they are welcome and encouraged to attend the event. Teachers who attend can help encourage the girls to engage in technology programs throughout the school year. (Note: Microsoft is not able to offer continuing education credits for teachers who attend this event.)

Q: Can parents attend the camp with their daughters?

A. Generally, parents are not allowed to attend the events. If a participant has special needs that require a parent to serve as a personal attendant during the event, let us know.
Q. Is lunch provided, or should the girls bring money?

A. Lunch and snacks are provided free of charge for attendees. If you have special dietary needs or other special needs requests, please send an e-mail message to the contact listed for your event city.

Q. Do you require a certain level of technical experience to attend a camp?

A. No. The event is open to girls of all skill levels. The event provides hands-on workshops that are led by supportive instructors who can help you increase your abilities. For girls who may have already taken technology classes in school, the workshops will provide you with quick exposure to new technologies but may not go as in-depth as what you experienced in semester long courses.

Q. Is the camp content “age appropriate”?

A. Yes. The camp consists of hands-on labs, interactive demo sessions, collaborating as teams, Technology Careers panelists and education scholarship and internship information.

Q. Are any of the events overnight camps?

A. No, the camps are offered during the day only. Microsoft does not provide lodging and transportation for the camp. Camp participants must make their own arrangements and pay for these expenses.

Q. Why does Microsoft have high-tech camps just for girls?

A. The focus is on girls because of the following alarming statistics about girls in technology, from the NCWIT Statistics 2009:

  • Girls make up fewer than 18 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) computer science test takers in secondary schools. This is the lowest representation of any AP discipline.
  • Between 2000 and 2008, the share of incoming undergraduate women interested in Computer Science dropped 79 percent.
  • Women hold half of professional positions overall but only 25 percent of IT-related positions.
  • At Fortune 500 IT companies, only 11 percent of corporate officer positions are held by women.

Q. Do you have a camp for boys?

A. Yes – Click on this link to go to the Teaching Kids Programming site.

Q. Where will the camps be located in 2010?

A. This site is for Southern California 2010 camp locations only.  More camp dates and locations are always being added so check back for updates. Click here to see the current list of Southern California camps for Spring and Summer 2010.

Q. What should I do if I have questions that aren’t answered here?

A. More information is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digigirlzday.aspx or send an email to: digigirlz@live.com and someone will answer your questions.

You can download the Socal Digigirlz FAQ as a Word document or PDF document.

San Diego Digigirlz Event – Location:

The San Diego event will take place at National University, Technology and Health Sciences Center (3678 Aero Court, San Diego, CA 92123 – across from the Sheraton Four Points Hotel).

If you like you can check out articles and photos about previous Microsoft Digigirlz SoCal events:

Lynn Langit’s (SocalDevGal) Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/socaldevgal

Digigirlz Live Spaces: http://digigirlz.spaces.live.com/

Digigirlz Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/digigirlz

Digigirlz events are not just informative, but very creative, interactive and fun! If you know a girl, who would like to attend a SoCal Digigirlz event, hurry up and register her to one of the events asap!

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I have been web silent for a while, except for my Twitter updates. Now I feel it’s time to break the ice with my blog.

 Leading an invisible web presence doesn’t mean that I haven’t been active. During Spring/Summer, I completed 4 ART classes at California State University and I had a chance to work with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign on Mac. In fact, I also spent some messy time with charcoals, pencils and paper. Recently I modestly shared some of my digital work on Deviantart. All these efforts to boost my knowledge in design are not solely for distraction or entertainment. It might be a brave goal to admit, but I’d like to be able to design as a developer.


Though irrelevant, I also started to learn French and completed two classes. Now and then, I get some instant moments of happiness, when I catch a word or two in some lyrics, a restaurant menu or a beauty magazine. C’est merveilleux!

But besides my artsy aspirations, I kept my geeky persona alive. I worked on .NET web development assignments, continued to experiment with Silverlight 3 and tried out the new features of Expression tools. Here’s a more accurate list of my routine…


My latest geeky reading list

Silverlight 3 – Programmer’s Reference

Accelerated Silverlight3

Expression Blend 3 with Silverlight

The Passionate Programmer

The Golden Ratio – The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number


My latest geeky activities

being a community volunteer at Digigirlz Camp, Culver City, LA and proctoring Small Basic, Kodu, Blend 3, Windows Live Movie Maker classes

writing about MSDN Kid’s Corner and Digigirlz events/sessions on Digigirlz’ Space – Windows Live

tuning in to the Silverlight 3 Firestarter event

watching Ignite Your Career WebCast Series

solving puzzles while playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village

refreshing my algorithm skills through Programming Interviews Exposed


In case you missed it, you can find the Silverlight FireStarter slides on Mithun Dhar’s blog; the sessions will also become available soon on-demand. The next Firestarter live webcast I’m looking forward to is the ASP.NET MVC event. ASP.NET MVC seems so much more familiar for someone who has done Java development with MVC methodologies and it’s great that you can associate your former coding experience with all the features you are reading about. Basically; it’s nice to know that you already know something.

Another interesting news to mention is the WebsiteSpark program that Microsoft announded yesterday. It will offer web developers and designers access to Microsoft services and products at no upfront cost.


For someone keeping silent; I’m surprised about  how much I had to write about. I’ll do my best to keep up with the writing. But from now on, I won’t wait till I come up with a crazy invention or original topic, but rather simply share the basic discoveries that I make during my developer work, my Silverlight experiments, my design progress and my daily life. The longer I plan, the less I can share and the less genuine it will be. 


After all, why should we have a web presence, if we don’t use the opportunity to share and provide information that could be useful or interesting to others; even if that turns out be only one person.

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I’m heading to Istanbul for a couple of weeks, so I just wanted to provide a link to our Silverlight HangRobot game before it’s just too outdated!

We set up a simple Hangman application for the Socal Digigirlz Camp in August. The game has simple animations, a How-To-Play section, word categories to choose from and some fun sounds, which can be muted if your motto is “silence is golden”;)


The words are randomly retrieved from an XML document with LINQ. As a future plan, the word list could be extended, the words could be retrieved from an online source and the animations could be more sophisticated. But this is what we have in store right now;)

As the game was intended for Digigirlz and one of this camp’s sessions was about Microsoft Robotics, I replaced the Hangman name with HangRobot and also used a Robot image instead of a Stick-Figure. The drawing could be much better, yet still for us he’s a cutie!

Here’s the link: http://www.crocusgirl.com/hangRobot/

I need to catch a flight – Enjoy the game + save the Robot!

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I mentioned in a previous entry Microsoft’s Digigirlz program and thought it might be a good idea to give further details on Digigirlz.

The Digigirlz Program is designed to give high-school girls a better understanding of the variety of opportunities available in the IT industry. In my belief, it’s a unique opportunity for the girls to enhance their knowledge/ engagement in IT plus discover the fun aspects of technology! I will cut the intro short; for more -official info- check out:

This year I was one of the volunteer presenters at the Digigirlz Day event in Irvine, CA on March 24th. My session covered some cool technologies such as Live Services (Live Spaces, SkyDrive, LiveWriter etc.), Popfly mashups, sample Silverlight applications, Silverlight Streaming and a Video player demo created in Expression Blend. The session was planned to be informative yet entertaining! You will need to ask the attendees about their comments:)



Here are some links to our Digigirlz Tech-Experiments

Live Spaces: http://digigirlz.spaces.live.com/
Popfly Projects: http://www.popfly.com/Profile/MyProjects.aspx?User=DigiGirlz
Expression Blend Video Player: http://www.msnetprogrammer.net/digigirlz/
Actual video link: http://channel8.msdn.com/Posts/California-DigiGirlz-Celebrate-Movies 

Before my presentation; I also shared a mini Istanbul-movie with the girls. I felt it would be interesting and amusing to see pictures of a a multi-cultural metropolis like Istanbul and probably realize that there are geek girls all over the globe😉 Perhaps I will share my home-made Istanbul video here too.

By the way; speaking of geek…the techie micro form (that would be my initials) of my full name “Cigdem Patlak Uzun” is CPU. I guess instead of central processor, “distributed multiprocessor – with minor internal communication faults” would be a much better description of me.

Let’s leave personal details behind… In a nutshell; DiGiGiRLZ rocks and exactly one month ago I was a lucky-girlie-geeky member of the RoCKeR-team in Irvine, CA!

Right now, the processor is going to suspend the writing operation. On resume – let’s see which instruction is next!

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I have been in California now for almost 8 months… The questions you will be asked most when you are away from your home-country must be 1.”Where are you from”, 2.”How do you like it so far”… Hmmm and probably “Did you find everything ok?” would also make it to the Top-3. But I’ll leave that one out for now:)

Let’s give some info. for question#1. My mom’s family is originally from Bulgaria, who moved to Istanbul/Turkey in the 1960’s. My dad’s family is from Greece and they moved to Antalya/Turkey in the 1940’s (or 1930’s?). That’s a unique European Turkish blend! Somehow, my mom and dad met in Berlin/Germany and that’s where my journey started. I was born in Berlin; where I lived until I was 12. Then we returned to Istanbul and until August 2007 I have been living there. High-school, college, grad-school, struggling with a M.Sc. thesis, finding a job, working hard in an IT department, doing lots of overtime coding in Java, JSP, PL/SQL, HTML, JavaScript, .NET whatever asked… All these tiny life details related with education+profession fit consecutively into this long time-span in Istanbul. Apparently, the restless wanderer somewhere coded in my genes needed a prolonged beauty sleep?!?

Eventually the wanderer’s awakening began. Last summer, I decided to continue my journey with a fresh start; somewhere far … like a different continent:) So now I’m here… My hopes and plans include to refresh my perception of life/the world and learn to listen to my inner-self. Besides these mental aspirations, I try to do some good for my profession by updating my developer skills such as learning Silverlight/Microsoft Expression and working as a freelancer on occasion. In addition, I even had a chance for volunteer IT-work such as the Microsoft Digigirlz program; about which I may post some info. soon.

Instead of giving a “Ohhh, I find it so niiice” answer to question#2, I plan to write about all the new-exciting-weird stuff I have learned and come across since I am here – in detail if possible. There are already some impressions jumping in my mind such as: The enormous size of food, the extremely friendly-positive attitude of Socal people, that there’s no escape from “Made in China”, AC’s working like deepfreezers, barbecue lovers, XXL Coffee-addiction etc… All this trivia from everyday life that I recognize as something new, while you might not even notice.

Before the images of my adventure fade in my mind, I’ll make sure that new journey data is entered soon… in case of inner-memory crash:))

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