School of Code Bootcamp Launch Event!


(Nicola Cronin) #1

School of Code are taking a group of people from different ages and backgrounds, with little to no coding experience, and turning them into software developers in just 16-weeks!

Last Monday, the School of Code Bootcamp began in iCentrum, Innovation Birmingham (read more here). The intensive course is teaching full-stack JavaScript development to 19 beginners, and is completely free of charge, thanks to headline sponsor Packt Publishing. Responding to the current reality that there are 125,000 unfilled tech jobs in the UK every year, School of Code is aiming to make coding more accessible, in the hope that all kinds of people can benefit from the growing tech industry!

You can meet these budding programmers for yourselves at the Bootcamp launch event on Tuesday 26th September! Come to iCentrum 12pm - 1pm for lunch and networking, as well as the chance to hear from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Packt, Innovation Birmingham and School of Code themselves. Register for a free ticket here (hurry - limited number)

We want to train, nurture, and keep tech talent in Birmingham.
If you’re an individual or a business who is:

  • Passionate about the tech population in Birmingham
  • Wanting to find out how you can support the Bootcamp
  • Looking to hire software developers
  • Looking for developers to help complete projects
  • Interested in following the journeys of our budding programmers
  • Keen to find out more about what we’re doing and why

Then we’d love to see you at our launch event! Bring your colleagues along and anyone you know who may be interested. Look forward to seeing you there!


(Andy Wootton) #2

Challenge accepted. Thanks.


(Andy Wootton) #3

It was a great event @njcro. A pleasure to meet you and I met some very interesting people in education who seemed inspired by the event. There was a real buzz during the networking section.


(Andy Wootton) #4

I wrote some notes:

@Cwissy spoke first. He has a first degree in AI then research in Comp. Sci & Biomed (so THAT’s where Brum’s biomed sector is)

The UK is short of 125K developers per year. There is 1 programmer for every 4 jobs. Noone in the room put their hand up as not having a recruitment problem.
Why? Coding seems lonely if you aren’t ‘that kind of person’. The approach is social, collaborative and intense but provides follow up support afterwards.
School of Code is using a Boot Camp model, well established in the US and London. It typically costs £5K - £15K SoC is free via support and commercial sponsorship. The first Camp attracted 300 applications with a 50/50 gender split. 19 were selected at the final interview, selecting by motivation rather than knowledge. 90% have no tech backgound. The course is about soft skills, teamwork and communication as well as tech, aiming for “hollistic acceleration” of learning. Launch was 3 weeks into the course.
Pakt are a sponsor, the fastest growing tech publisher.
The launch as at iCentrum on the Innovation Birmingham campus which is now the largest tech hub in the UK with 150 businesses.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said when he left John lewis, 50% of trade was digital. He wants to bring some structure to the anarchy of tech.
[ I tweeted afterwards to him that the natural structure of digital is a network not a tree ] He wants to bring large company private investment into local startups.

Joanna Mason, Head of Publishing at Pakt, launched in 2004.
Pakt have invested £1M in FOSS projects.

Bootcamp Cohort #1 introduced themselves
Victoria Bate, a baker for 10 years gave a short talk about her decision to change career.

David Hardman, CEO of Innovation Birmingham talked about Birmingham in a New Industrial revolution which will lead to a social revolution.
50-60% of current jobs are predicted to disappear.
He said he thinks programming jobs are safe for another 10 years but the training at SoC will provide the experience to develop beyond that.

Businesses in Innovation Birmingham include theoretical physicists working on blockchain tech and a Grime DJ developing an app to connect musicians, DJs and producers on Brum’s vibrant grime scene.

Simon Jenner, Co-Founder of Silicon Canal, a Community Interest Co. with 200+ embassadors. Raising £10M as seed fund. Brum produces 6,600 tech grads annually, 5-6% of UK output and they leave. Birmingham needs 1,000 graduates per year. [ 1 / 125 in UK seems worryingly low to me ]

Joel Blake, the SC ‘Diversity in Tech’ Lead spoke about the need to include the whole community.

Nicola Cronin was introduced as the person who does everything but run the Bootcamps and she wrote the post I’m replying to, which proves it.