Linda Liukas ~ Finland

Linda Liukas is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki. Her children’s book, Hello Ruby, was funded on Kickstarter and smashed its $10,000 funding goal in just three and a half hours, going on to reach $380,000 in total. It is the most funded book on Kickstarter’s children’s book category. Hello Ruby is ‘the worlds most whimsical way’ to learn about computers, technology and programming, and is aimed at 4-7 year-olds. Linda is also the founder of Rails Girls, an organization launched in 2010 that empowers women with technology tools and a supportive community to build their ideas.

Linda founded Rails Girls in Finland but the organisation experienced rapid international growth, with chapters popping up all over the world. The workshop, which teaches the basics of programming to young women, are now organised by volunteers in over 160 cities. Linda began coding at 13 years old when she fell madly in love with Al Gore, who was the vice president of US at the time. All her teenage girl passion and energy only had one outlet: building the first (and probably the last) Finnish website for Al Gore. At the time there was no Tumblr or Facebook, so she taught herself HTML and CSS.s