School of Code: The start-up tackling the region’s tech skills shortage

September 20, 2017


School of Code, a start-up pioneering collaborative and social coding, is set to launch its first 16-week Bootcamp in a bid to make coding fun, sociable and accessible to different types of people.  


Based on the Innovation Birmingham Campus, the start-up will be hosting the official Bootcamp launch at the multi-million-pound iCentrum building on Tuesday 26th September from 12pm-1pm.


As well as presenting an opportunity to network, meet the first cohort and find out more about the programme, attendees will hear from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, and headline sponsors Packt, Innovation Birmingham and Silicon Canal.


With 300 applications received for its first cohort, the digital technology company is responding to the “tech talent problems” and demand for coding skills in the region, taking 19 beginners and turning them into software professionals within four months. Chris Meah, Founder at School of Code and PhD graduate in Computer Science and Biomedical Imaging at the University of Birmingham said:   


“The technology industry is growing five times faster than the UK average, but that continued growth depends on the supply of tech talent. We are in a skills crisis; the current education system isn’t working. Our Bootcamp is an intensive short course providing a route for anyone into the exciting world of tech.”  


The Bootcamp journey takes people through an intensive learning path based on practical projects, teamwork and demonstrating their skills through a portfolio of projects. The course is also industry-led, with key partners Packt Publishing providing curriculum support, and industry giants like Dell EMC providing projects for the Bootcampers to complete.


As well as equipping individuals with fundamental web development skills to enhance employment opportunities, School of Code is also tackling the lack of diversity in the industry, with less than 10% of coders in the UK being women.


Applications for the Bootcamp spanned across individuals between the ages of 18 to 59 from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, reflecting an almost 50:50 gender split. Chris Meah added:


“There are growing numbers of jobs, money, and opportunities in technology, but the industry seems closed to a wide variety of people. With rising automation and changing job landscape, it's critical that we find a way to get more and different types of people benefiting from technology, not just the stereotypical coder. The Bootcamp is our exciting new project to get people into tech jobs and shape the future.


“We are showing that code can be for anyone, making it accessible, social, and fun to learn. If we want the tech industry to keep growing, we need a sustainable local talent pool that benefits all communities.”


January 2017 saw School of Code’s induction on the Innovation Birmingham Campus, which will now provide the space for the Bootcamp recruits to develop their soft skills and network with industry contacts through events and conferences.


The group’s specialist tutorage, mentoring and portfolios will culminate at a demonstration day on Friday 12th January at the iCentrum building on Campus.


Register for a free launch ticket here.

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