I recently had the opportunity to attend Future of Web Design in London with my esteemed colleagues from Copter Labs. The conference as a whole was a blast. In particular, there was a presentation on National Coding Week and I thought it would a worthwhile topic to share here and hopefully spark some readers here to get involved.
National Coding Week is a chance to give back to the local community to build the next generation of developers. The event was founded by Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love on a small island in the English Channel. It's starting to gain some real momentum. While the intent of the event is to build coding skills in general, the event is also a reaction to an EU estimate that there will be up to 1.3 million unfilled digital jobs by 2020. National Coding Week is addressing this by encouraging new and avid coders alike so they are ready to meet the upcoming demands of the marketplace.
Many of us are self-taught developers. National Coding Week wants to harness this sort of personal energy and passion and transform it into a profession. The long-term goal is to host these sorts of events around the world so the very basics of HTML, CSS and other languages are being learned everywhere and being applied to real-world jobs.
I decided to ask Richard some questions about the event and his vision for it as it comes up this September.
Rob MacKay: It seems like there has been a very positive response from everyone I have spoken to about this. Were you expecting it to be received so well?
Richard Rolfe: We have been blown away with the amount of interest but are keen to make sure people don't overstretch themselves. We want the organisers to have fun as well as the learners. We would like people to organise small manageable events so that they build up the confidence to organise larger events next year.
Rob MacKay: Will you have to rename it to International week of coding?
Richard Rolfe: We already have our eye on doing an international event. We have people in New York and California wanting to help this year and we will, of course support EUCodeWeek which is in October.
So what can you do?
Set up and run a small event. The format and length is totally up to you!
I personally will be setting up a few dates in the local office of Canary Dwarf, with Winking Frog Studios and putting together some basic material on HTML and CSS. I hope to meet people who are completely new to the web and share a bit about how it works. I would like to be able to give people a little knowledge and confidence and equip them to edit or manipulate code so that they might be able to make a personal website or even qualify for an entry-level position.
Why you should get involved?
I get that it's tough to justify volunteering time and work, especially for those of us who freelance for a living or do not have the perks of a paid vacation. Still, we're only talking about a few hours and this is a great opportunity to be part of a growing international movement in its early stages. It's also a chance to make strong connections with others in your local and global communities. I very much believe in that giving is a much better tool to growing business and connections than forced advertising and National Coding Week is an open door to give back. Think about how this could benefit not only your community, but how it could also open up new doors for you!
If you would like to find out more or sign up to get involved with National Coding Week please find the website and all other details here: