What’s your code?

Compiled-photo for Linz blog 04.11.15 V2IMG_7339 V2

Hello everyone

I hope you all had a great Halloween and are now settling down to enjoy the bonfires and fireworks that are fast approaching. In the spirit of the season, I have been setting off some fireworks of my own (proverbially of course!) which I’d like to share with you all – in particular, Coding.

On Wednesday 28th October, we hosted York’s biggest ever Code Club at the Explore centre on Museum Street where nearly 100 kids turned out for a fun day of coding and digital activities while the tempest raged outside. Any worries we (well, me specifically) had about turnout with the weather as foul as this was washed away with the sheer volumes of enthusiastic excited children coming to our event desk to sign up (we even ended up with a higher number for the first session then had booked on – a sign of a very good event!). Children from all over York (in some cases, East Riding and Leeds too!) switched on their computers to code for us some great games, drew some excellent app ideas (which in some cases shocked our guest app developer with their original designs and ideas), watched a live demonstration of a 3D printer and even got to play with some raspberry pi’s! At the end of the day, Anthony Main from the Distance gave a tremendous talk about the app industry, why coding was so important and about all the opportunities open and available with this fantastic skill. Overall a big success!

Following the event, we quickly prepared ourselves for Tuesday 3rd November and the beginning of our trial classes over at Millthorpe School! For 7 weeks, we are running some fantastic adult and child coding classes to try and not only up-skill adults and to help them to help their kids with their coding homework, but to also help the kids develop their coding skills to match their enthusiasm for the subject!

We were very surprised and proud to see a full turnout of children at the first code class with some from other schools dashing over just to take part! With such a range of ages, knowledge and skills we ended up splitting the groups into 2 with one group starting on scratch and python languages, and the other group moving onto much more advanced and complicated coding languages, namely C# which most developers I’ve spoken to not only know it well, but display shock to see the language being taught to 14-16 year olds who picked it up very quickly and ran with it!

Following this session, we had a brief breather before the adult classes started and again, it was another fantastic turnout with JK using his expertise to educate everyone about the background of the subject and about the basics of coding, starting with the visual language Scratch.

Overall, the events were a tremendous success and I’d love to thank everyone who helped make it so, whether you ran the individual sessions, helped us organise the event itself, secured the facilities we needed, helped us promote… basically anyone who contributed in any way to the events successes.

Don’t worry if you and your kids have missed these sessions – just follow us on Twitter @YorkDigitalCity for further updates

Lindsay Wilkinson – Digital City Executive, City of York Council.

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