Several groups are fostering the next generation of coders and programmers, with the hope that young girls will fill many of the 4 million jobs opening in the U.S. computer science field in the next decade.

U.S.-based Girls Who Code and the international TechGirls exchange program provide students with the experience and the friendships that can inspire young women to find their calling in computer science.

Coding for the summer

More than 10,000 high school girls have taken advantage of Girls Who Code’s summer camps and after-school programs since 2012. The free seven-week summer program is for students who don’t have coding experience. The New York–based nonprofit partnered with technology companies to create the programs.

Rising junior Annie Gomez acknowledges that she came to the program not knowing what to expect. “I wasn’t really saying I’m going into the technology field. But my mind has completely changed for the better. I found that I have a passion for robotics and coding in C++,” she said, referring to a programming language. “And I just feel full of great ideas.”

In Washington, Nidhi Allani created a website called PoliTeens with her small team to provide a platform for young people to speak out on political issues. As she collaborated to complete this summer project, she said she had the time of her life.

“I definitely became more confident as a person,” Allani said, “and in my skills and computer science especially.”