Tough Transition into Tech Careers for Moms, Leads to Creation of MotherCoders


I am so proud to be able to say I am an official MotherCoder alumni. I can officially code!  Not an elaborate new app like Uber or a full featured web platform like Facebook. It’ll be a long time before I get to that coding skill level, however I now have the basic knowledge of html, css & javascript that I can use to build simple websites.  MotherCoders was founded by an amazing mother of two named Tina Lee.

Her mission for MotherCoders is to “Help women with kids on-ramp to careers in technology, so they can thrive in a digital economy. MotherCoders prepares women with kids to compete for roles in tech that pay livable wages and offer advancement opportunities”.  

Living in the SF bay area we are exposed to tech daily.  Every industry; health, education, food, fitness, finance etc. has a tech influence.  Mom’s jumping back into the workforce from taking a break to care for their child will find it very difficult compete if they lack basic tech knowledge & tech skills.  Even with a high degree and strong skill sets, our area is so heavily influenced by tech that we are viewed as a less competitive candidate for the position because we became mothers. It’s as if making the choice to become a mother,  automatically changes societies vision to sees us as less capable of thriving in any career. Instead of placing us in this unfair light, there should be more programs like MotherCoders that provides moms with the opportunity to showcase our capabilities.  MotherCoders equals the playing field for mothers who find themselves in this unfair situation.  

I was in the program with 6 other moms in different stages of motherhood.  These women were a blend of strong educational backgrounds and various career accomplishments. Moms with Masters degrees, Ph.D’s to mom’s who have sold companies and are onto their next venture.  We all had outstanding dynamic professional & educational accomplishments, but we all faced the same issue- the learning field to gain more technical knowledge & technical skills was not created fairly for all to succeed. It excluded moms! There are various programs out there but none structured for the various family structures that exist. I am so fortunate and grateful for a program like MotherCoders that provides moms like me with the same opportunities as the single, young male in that ridiculously expensive, inflexible coding bootcamp . Everything about the program fit perfectly for my family life as a single mother, running a tech startup, raising two kids & learning to code.  The 2 day a week class schedule, flexible session times, daycare support and even providing lunch at every class session worked with my busy family/work schedule.

Aside from the structure and curriculum being perfectly tailored to a mom’s life, the environment was also non-judgmental and welcoming.  One of the mothers in our group had a baby boy under a year that she breastfed. Whenever she needed to, she would get up and go breast feed or bring him in the room to breastfeed and code simultaneously.  No one batted an eye or passed judgement, because we were all mothers and knew you just do what you gotta do.

Mothercoders is a learning environment that truly supports motherhood and

a mother’s ambitions simultaneously.  

As parents you just never know what to expect, and we must be able to adapt quickly to our children’s needs. It is innate for us to manage and focus on various things at once, no matter what happens, we still accomplish everything necessary for our future and our children.  The curriculum, program & learning environment of MotherCoders is definitely unlike any other.  More programs, curriculum and learning environments like MotherCoders need to be created for parents in general.  People are not going to stop having kids, and they shouldn’t have to stop learning just because they have kids.  

If you are a mother looking to on-ramp into a career in technology, this program is for you. If you are a mother with a business that utilizes technology and need a better understanding of the coding basics for your personal business, this program is for you too.  If you are a mother in a non-tech industry looking to transition into a web development career, this program is for you as well.  I highly encourage all non-technical moms that are touched in some way by our SF tech ecosystem to consider applying for MotherCoders or recommend it to a mom who may benefit from it. The program is offered in SF and in Berkeley. MotherCoders also provides scholarship support and of course daycare services for your tiny humans.        

Pictures courtesy of Tina Lee.

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Sysamone Phaphon is a single mom of two. She’s lived in the east bay area for 15+ years. She is the current CEO and founder of the CBD Nanoemulsion brand, Khuenphu. Sysamone also provides growth marketing consultancy in the technology, healthcare and cannabis industries through a digital marketing agency called A.V.O. Prior to pursuing the consultancy path & building her own company, she was previously the Head of Growth for cannabis manufacturer, Vertosa, where she managed PR, Marketing and brand partnerships. She is also a brand ambassador for Mothercoders, a nonprofit organization helping mothers on-ramp to careers in tech so they can thrive in a digital economy. When she’s not working, she’s playing baseball mom for her daughter’s all girls competitive travel baseball team and lacrosse mom for her son’s competitive travel team. When she has personal time for herself, she loves naps, enjoying infused products and binge watching various series on all the streaming channels.


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