Introducing Team Barcelona Duo

Posted on by Lori and Amalia

Categories: blog and student posts

Hello everyone, we are Lori and Amalia, two amazing ex-sociologist turned programmers. We are Team BarcelonaDuo. We met at codebar and are currently organizers there.

Codebar is a non-profit organization that runs workshops for underrepresented groups in tech. The aim is to increase interest and diversity in programming.

Lori and Amalia!

Lori and Amalia at Thoughtworks (image by Amalia Cardenas)


I’ve been working as an EFL teacher in Spain for several years now. In fact, my first experience with coding came from looking for a way to motivate my students. I figured I could teach them Scratch and from there they could make interactive stories or games. What I didn’t know at the time was that programming involves research, problem solving, and learning – a type of mental stimulation that I hadn’t felt in years – and I was hooked.

Lori studying code!

Lori studying code (image by Amalia Cardenas)

I got a bit more serious about coding a few years latter. I moved to Barcelona, in part for an opportunity to meet other programming hobbyist. I started attending codebar and met an amazing group of people who inspired and motivated me to take my coding to a new level.

Since then, I have become one of the organizers. I am really passionate about coding, and I want to share this love with others. Through codebar, I help with the organizing and I am currently working with other coaches to improve the python track to make it more project based.

I love programming and I would like to use this summer to build my skills. After this summer I intend to transition into tech as a developer.


I was born in Mexico, but I moved to California when I was 5 years old. I met my partner while living in San Francisco and moved to Barcelona in 2008. I am based in Barcelona but spend part of the year in California and in Greece.

Prior to programming, my background was in research in the media studies/ sociology field. I conducted research on alternative economic practices in Catalunya, the Indignado and Occupy Wallstreet movement, the banking crisis in Spain and Iceland, and I also researched how trust is built online.

Why I decided to learn to program

While in graduate school, through my research I started to see how the criteria that decide if somebody is seen as trustworthy online are decided by a few programmers. I became concerned to realize that in the era of big data and the increasing use of algorithms to sort, calculate and make decisions for us, the concerns of people that are already marginalized offline are not taken into account because of the lack of diversity among those creating the technology. I decided that in order to help change this imbalance I myself should learn to program.

Even though I am not the next Mark Zuckerberg, I want to increase diversity in the tech space and this is why I want to become a better programmer and be part of the programming community. In my spare time, I help organize the codebar Barcelona chapter. Codebar is a non-profit initiative that runs regular programming workshops for underrepresented people in tech.

Amalia coaching at codebar!

Amalia coaching at codebar (image by Amalia Cardenas)

This summer is very important for me. I know that programming takes a lot of hard work to learn, but it is something that now I can see myself doing. I know that as I get better, I will inspire others that they can get better too. I look forward to seeing where this summer will take me. :)

What we will be working on this summer is a platform that helps people achieve fluency in a programming language through individual practice and mentor feedback. Students can choose over 45 different languages to master.

Lori and I will be focusing on mentors, mentor resources, and tooling for mentors. We hope to develop resources that can make the process of giving feedback smoother for mentors and increase the quality of feedback across all of the exercises available on the platform.

Follow us on Twitter: Lori King, Amalia Cardenas

Get to know us better on our blogs:

Lori’s Blog
Amalia’s blog