Welcome to the coders collaborative community!

Coders Collaborative (COCO) is an initiative to increase the retention of women in computing fields by creating a sense of community. COCO aims to combat common issues women face in computing and technology by building confidence, fostering interest, bringing light to the experiences women in these fields share, and creating a system of peer support.


      A lack of confidence can be a common factor for women dropping out of STEM fields. They tend to have a higher standard of success than men, causing them to feel a sense of failure at that higher level. “Women often perceive “Bs” as inadequate grades and drop out, while men with “Cs” will persist with the class.”

      The first step is for women to understand this. The second is to build skills and experience. One of the best ways to get people coding is to give them problems worth solving. Women have shown to be more motivated to learn computing methods when dealing with social impacts and creative, real-world applications. COCO aims to provide learning opportunities so that they may discover the possibilities that exist with a little bit of computing knowledge, and find what they are passionate about.

Shared Experience

      It is important for women to understand that many of the experiences they are going through in computing and technology classes are common experiences for women. Issues like imposter syndrome and a lack of belonging can influence women to drop out of STEM, but understanding these issues can help to overcome them.

      COCO aims to, through a series of videos, show women that the problems they’re experiencing are common and solvable, and that coding and tech are exciting. These videos were made from interviews of women in computing and technology from the University of Maine. Videos address issues like imposter syndrome and what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated field, as well as what makes these women passionate about their field.

Peer Support

      Community and same-sex peer support can be crucial when entering a new and intimidating field of study. Feeling like they belong in their field is crucial for the retention of women in STEM.

      The primary goal of Coders Collaborative is to create a system of support for women starting in computing fields. The aim is to connect women through social media, groups like ACM-W, opportunities like Grace Hopper, and through local networks based on a sticker initiative.

Join the Community

Stickers and Promotion

Sticker Initiative:
Using stickers with the COCO logo, women can identify other women in computing to talk to and get support from. Women often only have a few female peers in computing classes, and usually don’t get to meet the women in computing outside of their classes. The goal of this initiative is for women to be able to walk around and see and meet all the women who, in different stages and areas of education, are connected to computing and technology.
Other Promotion:
Laser cut wooden coasters promote COCO and lead more people to this website.

Advice for Women Entering Computing and Technology

These women give advice for women starting out in their field, based on their own experiences. You can connect to groups like ACM-W and SWE to get connected to other women in computing or engineering.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is an inability to internalize success and competency, and fear of being discovered as a “fraud.” It is common in people under represented in their field, such as women in computing. Something that can help with this is recognizing that you are not the only one feeling this, and that there are other people who have experienced the same issues and are still successful in their field.

Why Stick With It?

It is common for women to switch out of computing fields, related to issues like loss of confidence in their abilities and lack of interest. These are the reasons why these women were able to stick with it. Groups like the ACM-W and SWE give women a support system that can help them with common issues they face and give them a sense of community.