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2017 Issue 2: The Technology Issue

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The future (of coding) is female: Sudo

The future (of coding) is female: Sudo

SUDO (soo’do) n.

  1. A powerful linux command allowing users “super user” access to install, update, and access files on a server.
  2. A Kingston-based initiative started by Queen’s students with the mission to create a community where women can learn to code together. Through monthly meet-ups and workshops, Sudo strives to build an energetic and welcoming community of programmers to support women in improving their technical skills.
[members of the Sudo group]
Photo by Bernard Clark

Pictured (l-r) Melissa Mangos, Jessica Dassanayake, Karina Kim, Annabel Kramer.

In January 2016, Melissa Mangos attended the Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing conference, inspired by Professor Wendy Powley. “It was so cool meeting women from different schools and all the professional women in computing. It was how I came up with Sudo. Talking to a lot of people, I found that other cities like Toronto and Montreal had initiatives for women to learn programming but Kingston didn’t have anything like that.”

Four months later, she launched Sudo in Kingston, with the help of some Queen’s friends.

Learn more: sudolabs.ca

Meet some of the members of Sudo

[Annabel Kramer]Annabel Kramer: Sudo workshop and curriculum developer

“It’s wonderful to present content that you have created, and have the workshop participants see how powerful it can be. There’s no substitute for discovering things for yourself.” An exchange student from the U.K., she plans on working for Sudo remotely when she returns home this summer.

[Karina Kim]Karina Kim, Com’18: Sudo social media marketing coordinator

Karina has brought her business and marketing skills to the Sudo team. She is also inspired to learn new skills from her computer science teammates. “It’s important to step out of your bubble and try new things.”

[Jessica Dassanayake]Jessica Dassanayake, Comp’20: Sudo workshop developer

“I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in the Kingston community, and not just the Queen’s community.” The Sudo workshops have given the first-year student a unique opportunity to teach a variety of women, ranging from students to retirees.

[Melissa Mangos]Melissa Mangos, Comp’17: Sudo founder

“We are really pushing this as a community. As well as the free workshops, we host meet-ups where people can come out and network and learn from each other.”


The Sudo team has a new partnership this summer to reach out to the next generation of female coders. Sudo trainers will be teaching programming to day campers enrolled with Girls Inc. and since not all kids have their own computers, the focus will be on building computational thinking and problem-solving skills.

Missing from the photos: Sudo members Daisy Barrette, Cara Falcon, Callum Tomkins-Flanagan, Emily Crawford, Omar Toutounji, and Shubhi Sharma

[cover of Queen's Alumni Review, Issue 2, 2017]