Banbridge girl Idun Craig was among those who attended Belfast Metropolitan College’s first female-focussed IT summer camp.
Belfast IT Girls, offered a chance to gain career inspiration from high flying female software developers.
Girls aged from 15 to 18 from across Northern Ireland including Idun Craig, 15, attended the Belfast IT Girls event, a digital skills summer camp.
Students learnt about building apps, websites and PCs as well as networking.
Among the speakers were Karen Hull, Principal Software Tester and Gillian Noble, Senior Lead Software Developer at TotalMobile, which provides innovative software solutions to revolutionise the way frontline healthcare staff work.
The women spoke about their own journey into the IT industry and how the company, which has much higher levels of female staff than the Northern Ireland average, has supported them in their careers.
TotalMobile, one of sponsors of the event, is also providing mentoring to students and teachers through the Belfast IT Girls event.
Karen Hull said: “Since joining TotalMobile over 14 years ago I’ve moved through the ranks from software tester and test lead to become one of the company’s two principal software testers.
“Although it’s still a fairly male dominated industry, that is changing as the younger generation of women realise that working in IT can be a very challenging and rewarding career and one in which many more exciting opportunities will be created in the coming years.
She continued: “After all the first ever programmer was a female – Ada Lovelace in the 1980s.
“We’re extremely proud that 35% of our development staff are female – a much higher level than many of our competitors and streets ahead of the NI average of 90% male representation in the IT industry.
“TotalMobile recognises that having enough people with excellent IT and software development skills will be crucial in ensuring that Northern Ireland is equipped to compete globally and we are delighted to play a role in trying to fill this skills gap.”
Jonathan Heggarty, Belfast Met’s Head of School of Electronic and Computing Technologies, said: “The Belfast IT Girls camp is a great opportunity for learners and teachers to hear about the diverse range of IT careers and develop important skills for themselves.
“Belfast Met are grateful for the support of Total Mobile and a range of other IT company sponsors and organisations including DEL, CCEA and Invest NI, without whom this camp could not take place.“
TotalMobile is also a sponsor of CoderDojo Belfast, a youth coding club founded and run by Belfast Met at its Titanic Quarter Campus.