Help Your Industry ! Inspiring Others to Learn Coding

Interview with Ruth Ng, Head of Growth Northcoders

19th September 2017

The UK is in a digital skills crisis. The demand for technical professionals is not close to being met – and the gap is getting ever wider. Many people believe you have to be a “certain sort” of person to learn to code. Mathematical. ‘Geeky’. Scientific.

Anyone can learn to code.

And unless more people learn, we’ll find that a lack of digital skills is what holds us back. Not just the technology industry – all industries. The country.

It’s imperative that programming becomes a viable option for people of any and all backgrounds. That’s not just about opening the door – it’s about showing them that the door is open and giving them a map to get there.

There are lots of ways into a technical career. We strongly believe that any scalable solution for the digital skills shortage needs to have community at its core. It needs to listen what businesses really need, and teach those skills to standards beyond a standard ‘junior’ developer. It needs to reach out to all corners of society and prove that your background is not important – it’s your passion and willingness to learn.

At Northcoders, we run Coding Bootcamps for the North of England – keeping our community, and the communities that surround us, at our core. And we won’t stop working with our graduates until they find work as Software Developers – and 91% of our grads have done.

Anyone Can Learn to Code – Case Study 1

Noor Image


Nour came to the UK 2 years ago as a refugee, with some basic coding skills. She had been working with HTML and CSS at small businesses before coming across CodeYourFuture, the wonderful Coding Bootcamp for Refugees, in a Facebook group. She studied there for 3 months before CodeYourFuture introduced Nour to Northcoders, where she studied with the help of a #WomenInTech scholarship. Now she is a Junior Front-End Developer at a retail business in the heart of Manchester

Anyone Can Learn to Code – Case Study 2

Tony image


Tony was lacking direction as a Deliveroo driver before deciding to join Northcoders. He became interested when watching some coding basics videos on Youtube. He hadn’t thought of getting into tech as an option because he didn’t feel he had the technical credentials. But he asked some of his developer friends about Coding Bootcamps and they gave him the thumbs up. Now, he works in a Leeds-based advertising company close to his home. He told us that “if I’d known coding was an option, I’d have done it years ago. This is where I’m meant to be.”

Something that we have noticed is that many of the people we have trained to code have only done so given some kind of prompt from somebody inside the industry who has shown them that it’s possible without a Computer Science or technical degree.

Talking to people is key if we are to support our industry. Often, the biggest thing standing between a person and a rewarding career is their belief that they ‘can’t’ do it.

So take a moment to think – Who do you know? Which of your friends are floundering in jobs which aren’t challenging them? Looking for a new career? Looking to return to work after having a child? Looking to build a new life for themselves in the UK? Get talking to them – you never know, you could change their lives. Many of our students are the friends of one of our graduates, people who have had their lives changed by the idea that you can build a brighter future for yourself through learning to code.

One more thing I wanted to talk about.

We passionately support CodeYourFuture, the Coding Bootcamp for Refugees. And they need people like you. They run bootcamps in Edinburgh, London and Manchester – and they need more mentors and volunteers to help make what they do possible. They also need second-hand laptops.

Could you help them? Find out more here

Want to find out more about how a Northcoders 12-Week Full-Time or 24-Week Part-Time Bootcamp could change the life of a friend (or you)? Head over here