Student to Instructor: A GDI Journey

Since the pandemic, GDI has grown in new ways to expand our offering of classes, events, and learning opportunities. But besides our classes now being held virtually, the biggest change has been our community. Moving our classes to an online format has allowed us to share the talents, experiences, and expertise of instructors from around the world. And - perhaps most impressively, we've been able to engage students as they grow professionally from GDI participants, to tech professionals, to instructors. 

One such story we are excited to highlight is that of Tara Tran. Tara is now the Director of Curriculum for Kode with Klossy, an organization with a like-minded mission, committed to building a more equitable culture in tech by offering learning opportunities to young women and gender-expansive youth. But before this exciting career, she was a GDI student. We sat down with Tara to learn about this journey from student to tech innovator to GDI instructor (don't miss her class, Javascript: Intro to the DOM kicking off May 10th!). Here's what she had to say:

How did you first hear about GDI? 

I first learned about Girl Develop It in a way that's similar to how many people find everything nowadays: through a good 'ole simple Google search. At the time, I had just landed a summer contracting job that requires coding knowledge. Although the job offered training, my enthusiasm and curiosity prompted me to seek a head start. I was eager to dive into coding and wanted to acquire knowledge beforehand, so naturally, I turned to Google. That's when I discovered Girl Develop It and its mission to empower women through programming education. Their inclusive and supportive community instantly resonated with me, and I knew I had found the perfect resource to support my upcoming job training.

How did GDI support your growth from student to professional?  

The class I took with Girl Develop It marked a turning point in my life. The class showed me the immense potential of what it means to have a career in computer science. In just three classes at GDI, I was able to learn so much. It opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities that awaited me if I were to venture deeper into computer science.

Without hyperbole, GDI has absolutely changed my life. Since that first Google search to where I am now: I don’t think I’d be here today if it wasn’t for GDI.

After the class, I made a life-altering decision to switch careers and dedicate myself to pursuing a master's degree in computer science.

Tell us what your work is like at Kode With Klossy.
It’s absolutely unbelievable to work at Kode With Klossy. Younger-me would be so proud of current-me. I have the privilege of doing what I love and having a career that combines my passions: teaching and learning.

As the Director of Curriculum & Scholar Experience, I develop, shape, and frame the curriculum, ensuring that our scholars receive the best possible experience. I help train our trainers. And all of this comes back to being the biggest learner. The ever-evolving field of technology keeps me on my toes. I get to stay at the forefront of industry trends, discover innovative teaching methodologies, and expand my own knowledge base.

My work at Kode With Klossy is a perfect alignment of what I love to do and what I am good at, allowing me to thrive in an organization that brings me joy, fulfillment, and endless opportunities.

What is your favorite thing about teaching with GDI?
Without a doubt, it’s the incredible people and the vibrant community. The students come to class with curious and open minds with infectious enthusiasm. The individuals come from diverse backgrounds and come together with a shared interest to code. Their curiosity, willingness to learn, and shared passion for coding create a dynamic and inspiring learning environment that I am grateful to be a part of.

Has GDI shaped your career path? Let us know your thoughts on Tara's story and your own experience with GDI by emailing us at We want to hear from you!