Ivy Barley’s ‘Developers in Vogue’ is creating a relevant community of female developers

Ivy Barley’s ‘Developers in Vogue’ is creating a relevant community of female developers
6 min read

Ivy Barley is a determined young Ghanaian woman passionate about empowering African women to pursue careers in technology. She is the co-founder of Developers in Vogue, an organisation that trains females in the latest technologies to prepare them for the future of work. Developers in Vogue aims to create a relevant community of highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionise Africa and beyond.

Ivy made the front pages of some German newspapers with her initiative in 2017 after winning the prestigious ‘E skills for Girls competition’ award in Berlin, Germany. As the overall winner in the competition, she was awarded €15,000, a mentorship programme from Google, and support from Impact Hub Accra.

Ivy is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Ivy Barley, Co-founder, Developers in Vogue

While growing up, I always had a strong aptitude for Mathematics and Technology, and that has pretty much shaped my career path. I recently completed my MPhil. in Mathematical Statistics. My first degree was however in Actuarial Science and secondary education in Business. All my life, up till now, people call me the “Unassuming Champion”. More often than not, my abilities are underestimated, but I would always find myself over-delivering. I believe in underpromising and over-delivering. When I’m not busy on social media, you may find me taking selfies.


Ivy Barley, Co-founder, Developers in Vogue

  • What inspired Developers in Vogue?

“About a year ago, I was working at an all-girls pre-university where my role included assisting the girls with Mathematics, Statistics and Physics. I also taught the girls Programming. Before working in this school, I’d been hearing people say that women don’t like coding. However, I realised the contrary! The girls were very enthusiastic about coding; they also had so many great ideas! My stay in the school was cut short but all the while after that, what never left me were the memories of the girls! It dawned on me to start a sustainable initiative that will create the ideal environment for females to code, connect and collaborate. That’s how Developers in Vogue was born.”

  • What are some of the important activities you run at Developers In Vogue?

“At Developers in Vogue, we train females in the latest technologies and connect them to real-time projects and jobs to enable them apply their skills and earn an income. What we seek to solve is simple; the problem of under-representation of African women in technology. At our coding bootcamps, females are taught how to code using a practical and project-oriented curriculum. Aside assigning dedicated mentors to them, ladies also build their portfolios by getting experience in the job market. However, what is most important to us is the community we’re building; a sisterhood of amazing women who support each other.”

  • What have been some of the challenges you’ve had to face as a young woman in tech?

“I think my main challenge has been the underestimation factor; but that really isn’t a problem for me. Generally, there is still a lot more work to be done to make the tech ecosystem in Africa world-class. If we really want to build disruptive global tech businesses, stakeholders need to invest in infrastructure primarily. Cost of internet access in most African countries is still on the high side.”

  • Why is the concept and model of social entrepreneurship significant to how you run your enterprise?

“I believe social entrepreneurship is going to revolutionise how businesses will be done in the world. This is extremely important here in Africa, as we have so many challenges. Entrepreneurs are now finding solutions to our numerous problems and then crafting good business models around their solutions. In my organisation, though we receive donor funding, we have also worked on our business model so that we can generate revenue on our own to scale our work. Sustainability is very important to us.”

  • You are a member of the Global Shapers community, a multi stakeholder initiative of the World Economic Forum. What does this mean to you and your country?

“If there is any decision I don’t regret making few months ago, it is joining the Global Shapers community. Being part of this community literally opens doors for you! Aside being able to significantly contribute to pressing issues locally, continentally and globally, I have had the opportunity to showcase my work to stakeholders. Also being in a community of like-minded game changers, who are also shaping their communities with the work they do, is truly satisfying.”

  • What one advice would you give to young women interested in pursuing a career in technology?

“To be on top of your game, you need to work hard. You must make it a priority to keep improving upon your skills. Though it may get difficult at some points, think about the big picture. Also make time to network with people in the industry to learn best practices that can make you world-class. If coding is truly your passion, then you definitely need a lot of diligence and determination. In case you need some support with this, you can get in touch with me.”