"Learn to code", said the president! But, how? December 9 was the national feel-good Hour of Code, the flashiest component of 2013 Computer Science Education Week. But, for the past year, Rails Girls DC has been hosting informal meet-ups and structured training days for area women to build and flex their coding muscles.

Rails Girls DC is the local chapter of the global Rails Girls, a support system for teaching women to code (particularly through – you guessed it – Ruby on Rails). The Finland-born nonprofit, volunteer organization aims to "give tools and a community for women to understand technology and to build their ideas" by "providing a great experience on building things and by making technology more approachable."

It's no secret that women are marginalized in tech. It's an industry – nay, a culture – that's historically lead by men and, as a result, is a little tinged. In DC, as in many cities, tech is a rapidly growing sector: The city has made no secret of its heavy incentives for tech companies. So the accessible, safe space provided by Rails Girls DC isn't just a fun way to meet likeminded ladies and learn to build web apps – it's a social good.

Want to attend a Rails Girls meet-up? Watch this space for details; meet-ups are the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. All-day intensive clinics are seasonal and listed as available. (And, yes, gentlemen – meet-ups are open to all.)