MasterCard Canada is encouraging all female professional and student developers to participate in its MasterCard N>XT developer challenge.
A recent Statistics Canada study found that while Canada is seeing an increase in the number of young women with university degrees in computer science programs, men still hold the majority of degrees within this field. The challenge is an opportunity for women to apply their technology skills to a business challenge that could influence the future of payments. MasterCard N>XT, co-sponsored by Rogers and CIBC, is the first payment network developer challenge in Canada and will be held at the MaRS Discovery District.
"Code is for everyone," said Betty DeVita, President of MasterCard Canada . "Over the last 40 years, MasterCard has employed talented men and women to work in our API and coding departments. We know that women are under-represented in the industry but it doesn't have to be that way. We encourage those who are in the business - or are studying to enter the business - to join us at MasterCard N>XT and show the creativity and talent women bring to the world of code."
The two-day challenge will take place September 28 th and 29th at MaRS and will search for Canada's next great developer and breakthrough payment solution. With access to MasterCard's commerce infrastructure, professional and student application developers are invited to create their own mobile-based payment application Winners will be chosen by a prestigious judging panel that will bring together some of Canada's most sought-after technology minds to award three top prizes of $10,000 and access to senior MasterCard executives to pitch their app idea. MasterCard mentors will share their industry expertise with challenge participants. Developers and specialists from MasterCard's open API and technology groups will be in attendance to guide coders on MasterCard technology during the Challenge. These mentors will join other industry leaders who will be in attendance to assist challenge participants during the two-day period.
"I think the developer challenge is a great way for coders to ga gain experience and think creatively. Women and girls can do anything they put their mind to, whether it's learning code, starting a business, investing in a startup or making it as a developer in this industry. This is a great opportunity for those women studying computer science to get their feet wet and begin building a name for themselves within the community," said Heather Payne , Founder of Ladies Learning Code.
In partnership with MasterCard, Ladies Learning Code, a non-profit startup that runs workshops for women (and men) who want to learn computer programming and other technical skills, will host a Girls Learning Code workshop during the MasterCard N>XT Challenge. As part of the workshop, girls aged 8 - 13 will learn programming with Ruby, an open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity.