West Midlands' first coding Bootcamp almost complete

January 11, 2018


After 16 weeks of learning to code from scratch, School of Code’s first cohort are ready to graduate. As the first of its kind in the region, the free, full-time Bootcamp received 300 applications over the course of last summer.


In September, a group of 19 individuals from all walks of life came together to tackle full-stack JavaScript development. The Bootcamp was created in order to get more and different types of people benefiting from technology, and challenge stereotypes of what a coder looks like.


By ensuring the course is free for students, School of Code is removing barriers into technology in order to make this ever-growing industry accessible to people from all backgrounds. As a result, the 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 cohort includes: a baker, return to work mum, artist, personal trainer, choreographer, teacher, warehouse worker, athlete, school leaver, unemployed, probation officer, waiter, designer, retail manager, PhD, maths graduate, geologist, musician, refugee – all brought together by wanting to see if tech was for them.


As well as coding, the course has focused on industry best practices such as pair programming and agile management. There has also been focus around the development of communication and presentation skills, constantly working in teams, and networking with people in the industry.


The cohort has attended hackathons, ran beginner’s coding meetups and generally got stuck into life in the industry, with one student Clare Streets winning Graduate Developer of the Year at the Silicon Canal Greater Birmingham Tech Awards.


Under the guidance and teaching of School of Code founder Dr. Chris Meah and headline sponsors Packt Publishing, all 19 individuals have gone from complete beginners to collaborative, creative coders, and are now ready to start new careers in the tech industry.


“Packt are super proud to be sponsoring the Bootcamp. There’s a gigantic gap between what the current education system is capable of producing and what industry needs, and School of Code is diving straight into the heart of that problem” – Dave Maclean, CEO, Packt.


On Wednesday 17th January, the cohort will pitch their final projects to potential employers and the local tech community at the Bootcamp Demo Day event in iCentrum, Innovation Birmingham. They have spent the past four weeks building apps in teams from scratch, and will demo them on the day to show their new-found abilities as developers.


The afternoon will consist of key note speeches from Dave Maclean, CEO of Packt, and Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, CEO of Stemettes, followed by the team presentations, Q&A sessions and networking.

If your business is hiring and you’d like to support this local initiative by taking on a Bootcamp graduate, register for a ticket to the event here.


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