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MasterCard Canada urges female developers to participate in N>XT coding challenge

220px-MasterCard_Logo.svgMasterCard Canada recently called on all female professional and student developers to compete in its N>XT developer challenge, the first to be held in Canada.

A recent study by Statistics Canada found that while the number of young women with degrees in computer science has increased, men still hold the majority of degrees in the field.

The challenge, which will be held Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 at the MaRS Discovery District, provides women and opportunity to apply their skills to a business challenge that could have a major impact on the future of the payments industry.

“Code is for everyone,” MasterCard Canada President Betty DeVita said. “Over the last 40 years, MasterCard has employed talented men and women to work in our API and coding departments. We know that women are under-represented in the industry but it doesn’t have to be that way. We encourage those who are in the business–or are studying to enter the business–to join us at MasterCard N>XT and show the creativity and talent women bring to the world of code.”

Participants will devise their own mobile-based payment application, and winners will be selected by a panel comprised of Canada’s most well-renowned minds in the industry. Three top prizes of $10,000 will be awarded, and the winners will have the opportunity to pitch their app idea to MasterCard executives.

Company mentors will share their experience and expertise with challenge participants, and developers and specialists from MasterCard’s technology and API divisions will be present to guide coders on MasterCard technology during the challenge.

“I think the developer challenge is a great way for coders to gain experience and think creatively,” Ladies Learning Code founder Heather Payne said. “Women and girls can do anything they put their mind to, whether it’s learning code, starting a business, investing in a startup or making it as a developer in this industry. This is a great opportunity for those women studying computer science to get their feet wet and begin building a name for themselves within the community.”

During the challenge, which will be co-sponsored by Rogers and CIBC, Ladies Learning Code will hold a Girls Learning Code workshop available to girls ages eight through 13.

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