Success story: Sheree & Women Who Code count on Pluralsight to keep skills current

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There's a glaring issue for women in tech right now: “You can't be what you can't see.”

This statement from White House Project founder Marie Wilson perfectly sums up the gender discrepancy for women in tech. And Pluralsight subscriber, Sheree Atcheson, is doing her part by finding relatable role models for women in the UK. Sheree started Women Who Code UK (including Belfast, London and Bristol) and uses Pluralsight to help these members build on their knowledge, no matter their individual skill levels.

Sheree's story

Sheree AtchesonSheree graduated in computer science from Queen's University Belfast-where 90 percent of her CS classmates were male. Shortly after graduation, Sheree started working as a software engineer and began participating in outreach work, running code camps at different schools. Sheree noticed a dramatic gender discrepancy – just as she had in her university classes – at these code camps. Curious about the lack of women, Sheree set out to find some answers and make a dent in that number.

“They're weren't a lot of young girls there, so I wanted to delve into that and see if anything could be done about it, or was being done in the Belfast area,” she says.

After making contact with Alaina Percival, CEO of Women Who Code, Sheree started the Belfast, London and Bristol chapters of Women Who Code UK.

Sheree & Women Who Code

Women Who Code creates an avenue for women in tech by hosting free meetups around the world, and showcases the amazing careers that it can provide-especially to young girls. Sheree strives to highlight all of the local role models in Bristol, London and Belfast, and uses Pluralsight to help members develop new skills and grow within the tech industry.

Sheree often refers back to Marie Wilson's statement because she feels like many young girls in the UK see women who work in tech (as portrayed by the media), but often times, those women don't appear very relatable.

“I personally find it very difficult to relate to someone who is a billionaire. We need to show kids that women in our local areas are doing these amazing things and that means you can do it too,” she says.

“We want to show the possibilities to women who are in the industry and want to learn something new or better their current skills, and to women who have maybe left the industry and are finding it difficult to get back in.”

Pluralsight's role in Women Who Code UK

Pluralsight has made it possible for Sheree to reach such a vast group of learners. Since the women attending Women Who Code sessions come for different reasons, and with different skillsets and disciplines, it can be very difficult for Sheree to provide content that's relevant to all of them. However, Pluralsight's training makes the UK chapters of Women Who Code a really inclusive community.

“Obviously we don't want just experts coming along to events. We want to make sure that the beginners, or the people that are even before beginners, are able to take part and really expand their skill set because that's what Women Who Code and Pluralsight are all about,” Sheree said.

Women Who Code members in the UK can learn from Sheree's sessions, then go home and log on to Pluralsight thanks to a hackathon sponsorship, which gifted the organization a number of licenses. By filtering through Pluralsight's courses by skill level and then easily tracking their progress, members can build on what they've learned at Women Who Code meetups.

"Having such a diverse library so easily accessible makes a wealth of difference when you have almost 2,000 members with all different experience levels. There's no fuss. No hassle. No need to have several tabs open trying to decipher which is best. It's all in the one place," says Sheree.

Why Sheree chooses Pluralsight

Sheree's first employer provided her with a Pluralsight subscription, which helped her learn Ruby and catch up on technologies she didn't study in college. Since her first experience, Sheree said she trusts Pluralsight since she knows industry experts author courses. Digging though a bunch of links after a Google search – where she won't know what's best or who to trust – is tedious.

“The last time I used Pluralsight, I moved onto a new project which I didn't have much experience with the technologies used. Pluralsight helped me get up to speed ASAP--without the customer ever having to worry that they had someone inexperienced on the team. Pluralsight provides a quick, trustworthy solution to finding answers and brushing up skills. ” she says.

And now, Pluralsight provides that to even more women in tech through Women Who Code UK.

Currently, Sheree is working on the online register to vote application in the UK, which is a new endeavor already reaching millions of people.

“It's phenomenal to see the amount of people that are using the codes I have written, which is kind of amazing and kind of worrying at the same time. But that's basically why I chose it,” she says.

Read more stories like Sheree's here.

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Contributor

Callie Johnson

is a Branded Content Specialist at Pluralsight. With bachelors' degrees in both Journalism and Web Design/Development, she has a wide spectrum of interests, including enforcing the proper use of ‘you’re.’ She loves hanging with her husband and their super weird, yet unbearably cute dogs, Kingsley, Thor and Rumble. Find her on Twitter @calliemarie87