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'Hello Ruby' aims to teach programming to young girls

By Stephanie Medeiros     Feb 4, 2014 in Technology
Linda Liukas fell in love with programming at the age of 13. Years later, she would become a co-founder of Rails Girls, a non-profit that promotes programming for young girls. Now, she's releasing a story book to do the same.
One of the most popular programming languages happens to be Ruby On Rails, a type of programming language used by the likes of Twitter and Shopify as well as countless other websites and web applications. While learning programming languages like Ruby On Rails (Or Rails for short) is simple for professionals who already have a background in programming, there is still a high barrier of entry for those who are completely new to programming, such as young girls.
Worldwide, there has been a push for better computer science education for both young boys and girls. In the United States, a whopping 90 percent of public schools don't offer computer science courses, according to USA Today.
Then, there is still the gap between men and women graduating from computer science programs. According 2012 statistics, less than 20 percent of women were graduating from computer science or engineering Bachelors programs. This number has largely remained stagnant.
Linda Liukas wanted to change that, especially after her work with Codecademy. That is why she helped co-found Rails Girls, a non-profit that operates in over 160 cities worldwide to promote and educate young girls in Ruby On Rails. They aim to provide education at a young age, helping instill a curiosity for computer science and encouraging it as both a hobby and potential career.
But now, Liukas wants to take it a step further and release a children's book about a little red-headed girl named Ruby and how Ruby likes to go on adventures with snow leopards, penguins, and talks to computer parts.
Liukas started her Kickstarter campaign for Hello Ruby and well exceeded her goal of $10,000 by raising over $200,000, $100,000 of that being under 24 hours. On the Kickstarter page, she has detailed illustrations and shows her gratitude to the positive outpouring her project has received.
"You are amazing," Liukas wrote on the Kickstarter page. "During the first 24 hours of the campaign we surpassed $100k. I'm so excited to be able to work on Ruby's world with all of this overwhelming support."
There will be a story book as well as a complimentary activity book that will include puzzles, brain teasers, and even a foldout model of a laptop for those young girls curious about hardware. The story book will be 32 pages long while the activity book will be 16-pages. The Kickstarter campaign will end in mid-February and the publishing of 1,000 copies of Hello Ruby will begin soon after.
More about Ruby on rails, Technology, hello ruby, rails girls