Get your fingers at the ready because National Coding Week has begun.
The first ever National Coding Week, sponsored by JT, takes place from 21 to 28 September and has been organised by Channel Islands-based Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love. The week sees coding events across the UK and Channel Islands with leading industry organisations lending their support.
Mr Rolfe says they have been overwhelmed by the response: "We established this week because we’re passionate about spreading tech skills and making everyone aware of the opportunities in the industry. Considering we only started organising the event a month ago, the response has been phenomenal with support as far afield as Brussels and the European Union."
One of the aims of the week is to show that coding can be for everyone, and Bettina Parker-Macrae, a former lawyer, is one person who is getting behind it. Ms Parker-Macrae is currently on the Digital Jersey industry-led six-month coding programme.
She said: "An awareness campaign like National Coding Week is brilliant it’s so important for people to realise that everyone can get involved. I represent mature women/mothers, and whilst in some ways it’s more challenging for me because I haven’t had the same exposure to technology as younger people, it is still something I believe in passionately."
JT CEO, Graeme Millar said encouraging a range of people into the industry is essential.
"We are over half way through a £7 million investment programme to extend our fibre network in Guernsey to ensure we have a world-class and updated IT infrastructure in Guernsey. This programme will help to not only ensure our Islands’ infrastructure is future-proofed but it will be essential to the development of skills of our future workforce and local businesses alike. We’re keen to see school leavers and young people considering technology and telecoms careers, but we also need people with maturity, who have experience of life and other industries. National Coding Week is a fantastic initiative which will help showcase and highlight the opportunities on offer," he said.
The EU estimates that by 2020 there will be up to 1.3 million jobs unfilled due to the lack of relevant digital skills.
Everyone can get involved by following an online coding course for free such as those with codecademy, whilst for those in the Channel Islands with some experience in coding there is the first ever Jersey Hackathon being held at Digital Jersey. A Hackathon is essentially a coding marathon and will see teams of coders and creative coming up with ideas for a set project.
Other events for National Coding Week include events in London, Blackburn, Northern Ireland, Stoke-on-Trent and the Isle of Man.
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