In one week, young women learned new coding skills that they applied to real world problems.

In June, July, and August, more than 350 young women took part in the WiTNY Summer Guild. Working out of Microsoft’s offices and on the Cornell Tech campus, these undergraduate students followed a one-week curriculum that focused on digital product development and design through the lens of a civic challenge: How can we make transportation in New York City better?

Students participated in the entire product development lifecycle—conducting user interviews, brainstorming and building prototypes, designing a minimal viable product and learning basic code to develop a product feature —before presenting their ideas to a group of professionals in the tech sector. Along the way, they had the chance to work alongside professional product managers, designers, and developers; meet other women who are currently in tech; and participate in discussions designed to give a holistic picture of what a career in tech can look like. They also spoke with current Cornell Tech and CUNY faculty and students, beginning to build a supportive community network of peers and mentors.