Learning to Code Changed My Life

Read about my background and my highlights of National Coding Week 2017

21st September 2017
Photo of Jonathan Channing

Jonathan Channing – Head of Events National Coding Week

National Coding Week 2017 has been the biggest and best yet, thanks to all the amazing volunteers, partners and sponsors. I have been blown away by the level of interest and support with events across the world; from the Shetland Islands to Jersey, from the USA to New Zealand. So many people have run events and encouraged adults as well as children to try something new. These sessions have have taken place in libraries, hubs, schools and in businesses and twitter has lit up with photos and videos. Thanks so much for sharing.

Digital Gum Event- Reading

Digital Gum Event- Reading

“I left school with no qualifications, was diagnosed with autism aged 19 and was unemployed, if not unemployable! After attending a coding course I gained the confidence and skills to learn more and now I am thriving”

It’s been a pleasure to witness countless volunteers sharing their time, enthusiasm and skills to ensure this #NationalCodingWeek has helped more people than ever before.

As many of you know if you have read my blog, the last few years have been a roller coaster ride for me, which I hope will inspire others to join their local friendly digital community.

I left school with no qualifications, was diagnosed with autism aged 19 and was unemployed, if not unemployable! After attending a coding course I gained the confidence and skills to learn more and now I am thriving. Not only do I have the honour of being Head of Events for National Coding Week (a volunteer role i enjoy) I have also established my own web design business  Cobra Coding, the only way is forward as I know my skills are increasing in demand.

This year I was appointed as a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and I have also completed an accredited mediation course, having to submit a dissertation which in fact was my first ever essay!

It had never occurred to me after be excluded from mainstream schooling that I would be taking a university level course to further my skill set.

By learning to think digital my life has been transformed. Over the past two years I have met lots of business leaders and have attended numerous events. Before I became more confident I was a recluse in my room playing computer games all day and night, I was unemployed and was anxious around noisy crowds.

As National Coding Week has grown I too have grown. I am proud to have such an integral role to the development of the week and look forward to witnessing its further growth and my own too.

Next month I will send out a newsletter but for now I will share a few highlights so far of National Coding Week 2017

Highlights 2017

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Some of the highlights for me this year include having GCHQ, Royal Mail, MIT and BBC Academy join in the fun.

But the real heroes are the teachers, developers, librarians and the countless digital professionals who have set up sessions and encouraged people to attend.

Photo of delegates on the course

Grandparents: Cake and Code – Guernsey

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I hope you will share your stories so we can help inspire others to learn digital skills and take advantage of the new opportunities that exist.

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A big thanks also goes to the people who partnered with us and sponsored events. Without you it would be so much harder! If anyone wants to sponsor next year get in touch!

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My Tips for Getting Into Coding

  • Be curious and attend a local coding course even if it is a short taster course. It will give you the foundation to build on your skills and will give you the opportunity to see if you like coding
  • Find a local hub or meet-up and go along to any talks or events, or see what’s happening in your local library
  • Make sure you find a mentor (this does not necessarily need to be a digital person)
  • Surround yourself with ambitious supportive people
  • Have fun!

Thanks for taking part in National Coding Week 2017 – look out for us in 2018.

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