The Cambridge Coding Academy (CCA) is equipping young people of today with a much-needed skill of tomorrow – coding.
An Accelerate Cambridge startup, launched by PhD students and research associates from the University of Cambridge, CCA provides workshops where participants can learn how to program by building a game.
The CCA team ran three one-day workshops in October. These have been greatly enjoyed by all their attendees: from 15 year olds curious about technology, to undergraduate students from disciplines such as engineering and English, to PhD candidates. The workshops have been extremely popular – with courses fully booked within hours and more than 250 people signed up for the waiting list. So the team decided to ramp up the number of courses in 2015.
Andrius Aucinas, co-founder of Cambridge Coding Academy, said: “There is a huge interest in coding within the University of Cambridge alone and as a team we decided that we want to run the Cambridge Coding Academy as a long-term initiative, with regular and more diverse workshops. We have already launched new ones on web app development and data visualisation. In addition, we are reaching out to schools and parents to grow beyond the University as the workshops are fun and accessible to anyone over 14 years old. We hope to attract more young students to careers in computer science.”
Nicole Mah, a third-year undergraduate Arts student, attended one of the workshops in October. She said:
I had very little knowledge about coding so I was very happy to have lots of guidance and step-by-step explanations.
One of the CCA workshops.
Another participant, Yulia Shenderovich, a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Criminology, said she learned a lot in a short amount of time and got a sense for the coding process.
The workshops teach industry-relevant skills including working with modern programming languages, software development and collaboration techniques. The female-male ratio has been about 40:60, and the CCA team believe the workshops’ inclusive environment has helped to attract more young women to technology subjects.
Andrius Aucinas said they’re ready to do more:
The goal for next year is to build a flourishing coding community in Cambridgeshire through delivering an even wider range of workshops and offering longer term learning solutions beyond the one-day workshops, such as online teaching and community-run gatherings to code and share experiences.