Lea Truc

Developer Circles Ho Chi Minh City

A tech enthusiast empowers women to learn programming skills

Her story

Lea Truc, known by her family and friends as Cat, received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in the United States but switched to a career in technology when she realized the unlimited opportunities that it presented. She returned to Vietnam and founded {Cat Can Code}, an education initiative designed to make coding and tech available to everyone—especially women and minorities in Vietnam.

The goal

In recent years, Vietnam has emerged as a global leader in the fast-paced world of IT. With businesses rapidly adopting new technologies, coding has become a core skill in the workforce. Yet many women and minorities have never considered the possibility of working in tech because of obstacles in their daily lives. For some, rural living can complicate access to employment and educational opportunities, while others are held back by society’s deep-rooted perception of a woman’s role, which diminishes any thought of pursuing a career in technology.

Lea is on a mission to remove barriers to entering tech by making training accessible and unintimidating for everyone. She hopes that her program will help women and minorities overcome any fears or obstacles associated with learning “technical stuff”—just like she used to face. By sharing her technical knowledge in an open and non-intimidating way, Lea provides a pathway that can help open the door to opportunities that could improve their careers and livelihoods.

Her solution

From early in her career, Lea found support in the Developer Circles community, which motivated her own learning. Then, she looked to empower others.

Lea designed a STEM program (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to teach foundational coding skills to people with no prior tech experience. Through this initiative, she educates entry-level learners using hands-on coding and technology programs. She spent time on the Facebook Developer Group page connecting with experts in the community so she could learn and stay current in the latest Facebook technologies. From there, she was able to build her network within the local developer community in Ho Chi Minh City, providing her with connections that proved to be crucial to the growth of Cat Can Code.

Lea met skilled developers who shared feedback and advice, helping her develop a quality curriculum for beginners. Drawing from their perspectives, Lea curated programming languages, coding exercises and a developer environment that would build a strong foundation of skills. The community also helped Lea spread the word to aspiring coders about Cat Can Code, its instructional portfolio, pop-up training, and other events.

The results

Since launching, Cat Can Code has trained 1,000 attendees. The majority of attendees are women and many have been inspired to continue pursuing a career in coding and technology.

Cat Can Code recently received honorable recognition for partnering with the Women Empowerment initiative by the U.S. Consulate General of Ho Chi Minh City.

“I found Facebook Developer Circles at the start of my career transition into tech and it helped me while I was starting Cat Can Code. I’m very glad and thankful for the support I receive from this meaningful community. Now I can make coding and tech more accessible for women and minorities in Vietnam.”

-Lea Truc, {Cat Can Code}

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