"Why should Philly have all the fun?"
That was the response from Pamela Bey when asked why she is working hard to build a South Jersey technology scene in Camden.
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn web and software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction.
The organization is committed to making sure women of all ages, races, educational levels and income can build confidence in their skills to develop web and mobile applications. The organization's programs are open to both men and women.
The nonprofit organization has chapters in many cities throughout Pennsylvania, including Bucks County, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. With Bey leading the way, Girl Develop It now has a chapter in South Jersey.
Bey originally became involved with building blog sites and learning how people could make money off them through paid advertisements. With some advice from an acquaintance, she found out she could make a lot of money by building websites for other people.
"I had an acquaintance who was into the Internet and making money off of making websites for people," she said. "In 2008, she started making $10,000 a month and I was a single mom and no matter how much money I made, I didn't have enough money."
Bey was working three jobs to support her child and even held a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. The idea of leaving her jobs and working toward her passion for technology was scary, but she was confident.
"I thought if my friend could make that much money in a month, I could do it," she said.
In 2010, Bey began her own business.
She got a taste of the emerging Philadelphia tech scene when she visited her father, who lived in the city. Bey says she loved the hustle and bustle of the city and decided to move to Camden, only a short drive from Philly.
Bey began to attend every MeetUp and class Girl Develop It Philly held and began to learn even more about coding a website and other related topics. She eventually worked her way to become a teacher-aide and teacher of Wordpress classes while still attending classes on her own.
"Girl Develop It Philly is a community of women who were learning together and building a network of women who share the same interest in technology," Bey said.
One woman inspired by Girl Develop It Philly to start her own company was Melissa Schipke, an MBA graduate from Rowan University. She, along with co-founder James Maxwell, created Tassl, an independent company providing a one-stop shop for everything related to a college.
The rest of this story can be found on the Courier-Post Online site here: Web developers heat up SJ tech scene. Reach Matt Flowers at (267)-671-8654 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CP_MFlowers