International pop singing/rapping sensation Doja Cat might just teach your kids how to code. No, that’s not a joke — she really might.
The singer’s latest music video for the single “Woman” has been transformed into an interactive coding tutorial by Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that seeks to close the programming industry’s gender gap. Only about 24 percent of computer scientists today are women, the organization estimates, down from 37 percent in 1995.
Girls Who Code’s version of the “Woman” music video — which you can access at dojacode.com — is kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure story. The decisions you make are all controlled via lines of code. As the video plays out, various “challenges” appear on-screen, prompting users to change bits of code to their liking.
While certainly not extensive, the web-based experience is really quite fun to play through, and it’s made very accessible for those who have no coding experience at all. Doja Cat’s popularity amongst younger internet users will be a huge draw for the interactive video, too, maybe even prompting some visitors to try other gamified offerings from Girls Who Code.
Get into it — The Doja Code experience is smart in that it’s very much targeted at Doja Cat’s biggest fan base from the get-go. “You’re about to code a freakin’ music video,” the program begins. “Look out for the coding challenges. Cute, right?”
Girls can code, too — The “first ever codable music video” is really the perfect intersection of pop culture and STEM. Doja Cat’s young fan base is exactly the audience Girls Who Code hopes to reach. And what better way to introduce girls to programming’s gender gap problem than with a song that proclaims:
They wanna pit us against each other when we succeedin' for no reasons / They wanna see us end up like we Regina on Mean Girls / Princess or queen, tomboy or king (yeah) / You've heard a lot, you've never seen (nah) / Mother Earth, Mother Mary rise to the top / Divine feminine, I'm feminine (why?)
As much as we’d like to believe the tech industry has modernized past the point of gendered issues, all evidence points to quite the opposite. Gender bias is still so rampant in the larger tech community that men will go so far as to pretend to be women to seem like underdogs. If a silly little Doja Cat game shows even a few girls that coding can be fun, the project will have done plenty.