Cracking the Code – Club formed last year to help adults learn computer coding

As featured in Talking Digital, Manchester Evening News, July 2016

Born in 2015, CodeUp is the biggest code club for adults in the UK. Founded here in Manchester and going from strength to strength, CodeUp is now set to be launched in at least another seven towns and cities by the end of the year.

CodeUp Manchester was born through my frustration with trying to learn how to code – to create computer programs, apps and websites – but having nowhere to go for face-to-face help when it was needed. Many resources are available for children who want to learn – but nothing seemed to exist for adults.

CodeUp was designed to make learning how to code accessible and free to anyone who has the motivation to learn. Our aim was to create the adult version of Code Club, with support and guidance provided by local volunteer experts.

Our meetings provide drop-in support and advice, talks on how to make the move to a career in digital, plus taster workshops about the basics of coding, app development and how to build your first website.

We provided free, friendly tuition to more than 500 adults in its first year. Through regular, packed and enjoyable sessions, CodeUp has seen people not only learning digital skills, but going on to change their lives based on those new skills.

We see engaged and passionate mentors teaching people who’ve never written a line of code before and we also see our students return as mentors, to invest in CodeUp’s future.

Earlier this year, CodeUp Manchester and the Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) received the National Coding Week Award for best partnership, after the two organisations worked together to provide a full day of free
‘taster’ workshops for 98 people.

What we have achieved in our first year has been amazing and in just the first few months of 2016, we’re on track to dwarf last year’s of figure of 500 students. Being recognised with a National Coding Week Award was amazing and I am honoured to now also be an ambassador for National Coding Week.

The rest of 2016 will be an exciting time for CodeUp, with numerous coding workshops and events in the pipeline – including an ambitious bid to put on the largest National Coding Week event in the UK, as part of this year’s BarCamp Manchester.

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