Initiative wants to show world 'Moms Can Code'

One mom’s desire to learn how to code has led to a worldwide community of moms with the same passion.

Moms Can Code founder Erica Peterson, who has two children, started the initiative after she wanted to teach her inquisitive 5-year-old son about coding, the process of creating commands for computers to perform.

"I saw that my son was taking an interest in coding and we were downloading all these apps where you play games to learn how to code," Peterson said. "I wanted to refresh those HTML/CSS skills and then also be able to talk to my son about coding."

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For many moms who participate in the program, it’s one more activity to do as part of their hectic schedules.

“It’s so hard to explain to other people the difficulties that moms face,” Peterson said, adding that many moms often have to choose between working to pay for childcare or staying at home.

She told Fox News soon after she created her website to encourage moms to share learning resources, she started having a world-wide following.

MomsCanCode.com has had more 12,000 page visits since its launch in August. Visitors include those from countries such as Argentina, Canada, China, France, Germany and Peru, among others.

Peterson has met with moms in Pittsburgh to offer a free in-person introductory coding course.

Jill Jayne, who has her online business that promotes healthy lifestyles for children, was one of the attendees.

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“I’m coming back from maternity leave, so I was looking for ways to sort of reintegrate myself into society,” Jayne said. 

Peterson says she wants to debunk any stereotypes there may be of working moms reaching their career goals.

"The impression for most women, most moms, is that it’s out of reach,” she told Fox News.

But moms like Jayne say they’re ready to confront the challenges. 

“It’s a juggling act that no one sees,” Jayne told Fox News. “The more opportunities that I can use to grow myself makes me a better leader, a better boss and frankly a better mother.”

Moms Can Code is planning more in-person sessions across the country, including events in California and New York. The organization also hopes to eventually provide coding resources for a Spanish-speaking audience.

Michelle Chavez is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Pittsburgh.