Birmingham, UK — Friday 24th November 2017 — On the evening of Thursday 23rd November, a collection of the region’s top digital businesses gathered at the Birmingham REP for the annual Silicon Canal Tech Awards. School of Code, a company dedicated to getting more and different types of people into technology, are currently running a free coding Bootcamp in Birmingham City Centre. They are in the process of taking a hugely diverse group of individuals from beginner to software developer in 16 weeks, and helping them into careers in technology. Now in week 12 of the course, the cohort are building web applications from scratch, working on personal projects and thinking about where they would like to go with their new skills. One of the Bootcamp students, Clare Streets, was nominated for the ‘Graduate Developer of the Year’ Award, and was chosen by the judges as the winner. Clare worked on superyachts for a decade before returning to the UK to start a family. Having been at home raising her young children for the past 7 years, she decided it was time to get back into the workplace, which is where School of Code comes in. Clare joined the Bootcamp having never looked at a line of code before, and without any experience of the tech industry. Since then, she has thrown herself into the community, speaking at tech meetup Fusion and attending events all over the city in between school runs. She was part of the winning team of a challenge set by Dell EMC, and will be pitching to a board of executives in London in the new year.
“I am thrilled about the opportunity that School Of Code has afforded me to start a career in a new industry and to be recognised by Silicon Canal and the Greater Birmingham tech community has been the icing on the cake”
The School of Code are on a mission to challenge stereotypes of what a coder looks like. By ensuring the course is free for students, they are removing barriers into technology in order to make this ever-growing industry accessible to people from all backgrounds. As a result, the School of Code Bootcamp includes a wide variety of people, ranging in age from 18-45 and with a mix of gender, ethnicity and professional backgrounds among the group. The Bootcamp is a team-based, project-driven and industry-led course. Not only are the cohort learning code, they are also developing communication and presentation skills, constantly working in teams, and networking with people in the industry. This education experiment aims to build a pipeline of “creative, collaborative coders” that industry needs, and prepare the Bootcampers to be job ready by the end of the course. The initiative is proving how a diverse and inclusive team of people can make magic happen. In January, the cohort will pitch their final projects to potential employers at the Bootcamp Demo Day and then begin the next chapter in their tech journeys. If you or your company are looking to grow your tech team, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.