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Spotlight session: National Coding Week - Get involved and share your skills!17:01 with Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love
National Coding Week 2015 starts on September 21st. It has been organised by Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love of CodexDLD. The event is aimed at those in the tech industry and encourages them to showcase what they do during the week and share their ideas and skills.
[MUSIC]. 0:00 Right, great to see everybody. 0:12 Everybody excited about these two days that we've got coming up? 0:14 Big smiley faces yeah? 0:18 Thumbs up. 0:19 Yey, some thumbs up. 0:21 Can you wiggle your thumbs? 0:22 Yeah right okay. 0:23 Excellent. 0:24 My name's Richard Roff and this guy is? 0:26 >> I'm Jordan Love. 0:30 Nice to meet you. 0:30 >> And we're from a tiny digital startup in the even smaller island of. 0:31 >> Jersey. 0:38 >> Just to give you a little bit of context about how small this island 0:39 really is, okay? 0:42 So this is where we are in the great United Kingdom. 0:43 That's where Jersey is. 0:47 It's literally 9 miles by 5. 0:51 You can imagine the sort of night life that's over there. 0:53 That's all right for me. 0:57 I just go to bed early. 0:58 But just because we're from a small place doesn't mean we don't have 1:00 big ambitions for the people we work with. 1:04 And my background is I was a head teacher. 1:07 And I took on a very challenging school. 1:11 And it was all about developing the people, 1:16 because the school was in a difficult place. 1:18 I was the fourth head teacher in 3 years. 1:20 Difficulty, was named and shamed in the press, and 1:24 because of the way the education situation was structured, 1:26 a lot of the children left that classroom area or that school. 1:30 And went to other schools. 1:34 Because of the reputation. 1:36 So I worked with the children, the parents, and the teachers, and 1:38 just tried to shine a light on all the good stuff that was happening. 1:41 And over 8 and a half years, turned it around with them, 1:45 rebuilt the school culture-wise, but also physically. 1:49 Brand new building won lots of awards. 1:54 The school won awards. 1:57 I won a national award then got cancer. 1:58 And so I thought I'd do 3 things. 2:00 Apart from selling the house I decided to get well. 2:03 Meet interesting people. 2:09 And do interesting things. 2:11 And on that journey of recovery I've bumped into this guy. 2:13 >> So, to give a bit of context about my back story, when I was about 17, 2:19 18, unfortunately I was made homeless, believe it or not. 2:24 Obviously during that time, after I left college, 2:30 didn't know what I was going to do, but I needed to find some sort of employment. 2:33 So just through drive and determination. 2:37 And obviously probably a lot of luck, actually, not just a little bit. 2:39 I managed to land a job at a creative agency. 2:43 And coming from that small island, 2:45 I didn't even really know that that sort of thing existed. 2:48 I know you might find that hard to believe. 2:52 But we're not really open to that. 2:54 It's not really put in front of us. 2:57 It's more finance. 2:59 So after working there for about a year and 3:00 4 months it was literally a case of my managing director coming to me and 3:03 saying oh, you wanna learn how to make websites branding. 3:08 There's a computer. 3:12 Learn it until you can do it. 3:14 I don't know if that was the case for any of you. 3:16 But it was literally a case of teach you myself. 3:18 So like I said, one year and 4 months went by. 3:22 Great time, but I started to see the workings of the cogs. 3:24 Working in a small agency you can see how they're doing stuff. 3:29 How they're acquiring business. 3:32 So that's when I decided, you know what? 3:35 Who wouldn't want to work less and earn more money? 3:37 So I thought I'm gonna go freelance. 3:41 And I did. 3:43 Young man at the age of 19 walking around my little laptop making websites for 3:44 businesses around the UK. 3:49 And funnily enough ironically I don't know how. 3:50 One of my first clients was from New York. 3:53 And how did they find me? 3:56 The Internet. 3:58 Isn't that a wonder? 3:59 So, along that whole journey, that whole career progression, 4:00 that's when I was walking down the High Street and 4:06 bumped into my ex-head teacher, this guy. 4:09 >> And of course I recognized him, and 4:14 I've bumped into lots of former students and parents and I always spend some 4:15 time getting to know what their kids are up to, what people are doing. 4:19 And John said, do you want for a coffee? 4:23 I'll tell you what I'm doing. 4:26 Oh, okay, yeah, so I went for a coffee. 4:27 And I was inspired by what he was doing, but 4:29 left that little coffee meeting slightly depressed, if I'm honest. 4:32 Cuz I just thought, you know what? 4:37 The internet and the web and all that digital stuff, it's for 4:40 young people, isn't it? 4:42 And I thought, damn it, I'm supposed to be getting well, 4:45 meeting interesting people, and doing interesting things. 4:49 And I might talk a lot but I need to actually learn some new skills. 4:53 So over Christmas, this is a true story, over Christmas, instead of watching 4:57 Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I still haven't watched Lord of the Rings. 5:00 I learned to code. 5:04 Taught myself online using one of the online tutorials. 5:06 And I was amazed how easy it was compared to what I understood it would be. 5:10 I was amazed at what I could do. 5:18 Clearly there was a lot I couldn't do. 5:22 So I got really exited about that. 5:24 Really, really excited. 5:26 I can learn to code. 5:28 I can learn to code, hallelujah. 5:29 And so I phoned up Jordan. 5:31 But there was no reply. 5:33 Because I'd had an idea. 5:35 I thought, why not. 5:36 Let's teach the unemployed how to code. 5:39 There are all these clusters setting up all over England and Northern Ireland and 5:42 Scotland and Wales, and in Jersey and 5:46 in Guernsey, then surely it needs people to get into the industry. 5:49 And if you're unemployed, can we teach the unemployed these skills? 5:54 Cuz they're not doing anything. 5:58 They're just unemployed. 5:59 Let's do it. 6:00 Rung up the social security department and said, can we give it a go? 6:01 They said, oh, we've been thinking about this for a long time. 6:04 So I just said let's do it. 6:06 Phoned up Jordan, no reply. 6:09 >> So what do you do when you're young, and 6:12 you finally find a job that you can do from anywhere? 6:13 You go anywhere. 6:17 So at this point I was somewhere in Europe. 6:19 And that's when I strangely got this Facebook message. 6:22 I didn't even know this guy could use Facebook, all right? 6:25 And it said to me how about we do this idea in Jersey? 6:28 Exactly that. 6:34 And that's when we went on to do our first cohort. 6:36 So this group of people had been long term unemployed. 6:40 Some had been tinkering with computers. 6:45 Some had no interest whatsoever in computing. 6:47 And we trained them and 6:51 we badgered people in the industry just to give them a work experience placement. 6:54 And we chased some people down the high street because they'd ignored our calls. 7:01 And John went with me to one of his at lunch time. 7:05 And said, look. 7:07 Come on. 7:08 Give this person a chance. 7:09 And they still said no. 7:10 >> [LAUGH]. >> But other people said yes. 7:11 And within 4 months 80% had got paid employment. 7:14 That's 80%. 7:17 Not all of them digital. 7:20 But I think at least six got into digital, IT, or coding jobs. 7:22 Some actual coders as a result of that. 7:28 Not because what they learned on the course 7:31 was in itself the entire coding experience. 7:34 It's because it inspired them, it gave them confidence and 7:37 it inspired them to take it further in their own time. 7:41 So they started building up a portfolio. 7:44 And that was the point. 7:46 Inspire people to be more confident about getting in to this industry. 7:48 So great. 7:53 Those people getting in traditional jobs. 7:55 >> What is the point of all this, you might be thinking right now. 7:58 Well that's the point. 8:01 >> So we are led to believe you guys in industry might be 8:05 finding it very difficult to hire people because of a skill shortage. 8:08 Well they're teaching computing and coding and digital skills in school. 8:13 But those kids aren't gonna get out of school for a long time. 8:17 1.3 million jobs apparently gonna be unfilled by 2020. 8:20 This year alone there are 30,000 new app design jobs in the UK. 8:27 30,000 new app design jobs in the UK being advertised. 8:33 That's incredible. 8:38 Most people are self-taught. 8:39 How many people here have taught themselves? 8:42 Yeah? 8:44 Wow. That's impressive. 8:45 Most people are self-taught. 8:47 So if you think it's a crazy notion, 8:49 I'm not suggesting we just get everybody who's unemployed and train them. 8:52 I'm not suggesting that. 8:56 I'll come onto the main point in a minute. 8:57 But If you give people confidence, you can develop those skills, 8:59 they can learn them in their own time, and if they're any good, great. 9:05 They could be hired and trained and developed further. 9:09 So, we've got 3 case studies just to show you very quickly. 9:13 >> So this guy is Dwayne. 9:17 >> Really, really interesting back story. 9:19 Originally from Jamaica. 9:21 Migrated all the way to that small island of Jersey. 9:23 Spent 4 years being unemployed, 2 years serving in Afghanistan, and having 9:27 a son right there that was critically ill, hence the point of the unemployment. 9:33 So we trained him. 9:38 We took him for 2 weeks, some soft skills. 9:39 Such as digital marketing, sorry, digital literacy. 9:42 Stuff like that. 9:46 And then going on to more technical skills, such as HTML5, 9:47 CSS3, which I'm sure most of you know. 9:50 Within a very short amount of time, 9:54 he managed to secure a job at an e-commerce firm in Jersey. 9:56 And we're talking about the island that barely just got internet, alright? 10:01 Firm really impressive. 10:05 And in order to get this case study we recently caught up with him, 10:07 within 4 months of that job, he's now at a manager position. 10:11 That's just from 2 weeks of being given confidence and digital skills. 10:15 >> I'm gonna bring you back to this picture. 10:22 This man here his names Dan, right. 10:25 The one with the headphones around his neck. 10:27 He went to school with me actually. 10:31 We went to college together as you do if you know everyone. 10:32 And he didn't know what he was gonna do either. 10:37 >> His dad owns a toilet company, so he was literally sucking shit for 10:40 a living, okay? 10:44 After spending a week with us, again the same sort of skills, just one week, 10:46 he managed to secure a job at a digital agency as a coder and he's still there. 10:51 And this is what he looks like now. 10:57 Just go back a bit. 11:02 Are you wearing the same jumper in every single shot? 11:03 >> That is for, just to make a point, consistent branding design, okay? 11:07 >> [LAUGH]. 11:12 >> Now, obviously Dwayne we talked for 2 weeks, Dan was 1 week. 11:14 >> And just to give you an idea of how much you can 11:21 inspire people just by giving them some support. 11:24 We went to Spec Savers. 11:26 Now you may not know this, but Spec Savers got a one billion pound turnover. 11:29 It's a small, family company. 11:33 But at massive impact around the world. 11:35 And they have got the biggest in house creative team in Europe. 11:38 There are 50 people who are in their creative team. 11:42 Or over 50 people just in the creative team. 11:46 And the creative team they have one client. 11:49 And that's the marketing team. 11:52 The marketing department. 11:54 So it's a huge organization. 11:55 They asked us to go and help their team to understand the digital journey. 11:58 I guess you all understand the digital journey and how people flow from perhaps 12:04 one device to another or e-commerce to another transactions. 12:08 And they may drop on from different points of social media or websites, etc. 12:14 But we were to explain that to those people, 12:19 so that they have a common language and can speak to the coders who were 12:21 actually implementing some of the designs that these amazing people were doing. 12:26 So we gave them some coding skills, and 12:30 we gave them some problem solving skills, and we gave them some confidence. 12:33 A young lady had just joined Sophie Hardman. 12:38 Her degree was in textiles. 12:41 Textiles. And she got into the creative aspect of 12:43 Specsavers marketing team. 12:48 Out of just 2 hours that she had with us. 12:50 2 hours. 12:52 Doesn't mean, when I say this, 12:54 it's not meant to say that we are wonderful trainers. 12:56 It's not what it's about, actually. 12:58 It was enough for her to inspire her to learn online. 13:00 She went on to learn online. 13:04 She's now a web designer. 13:06 She works with the web team. 13:08 She doesn't code every day, but she takes designs. 13:10 Talks to the coders, and they understand what she's trying to create with those 13:13 designs, and she helps them then change the website, etc. 13:17 But that was just 2 hours. 13:20 So the point of that is with a long or 13:21 short period of time, you can inspire the people. 13:24 So what's the main thrust of this? 13:28 National coding week. 13:32 Is week beginning 21st of September. 13:34 It's about adults learning to code. 13:38 And it's about giving people a chance to get into that industry. 13:42 Most people don't give it a second thought 13:47 because they either don't really know it exists. 13:50 Or they think it's too hard. 13:53 They just think it's too hard, they can't possibly get into it. 13:55 So, we're asking you to take part in it 13:59 by doing something that may change a life, it might change you're own life. 14:03 There are 3 ways of getting involved. 14:09 One, we just call it reverse mentoring. 14:13 So if you've got a digital skill in your business and 14:16 somebody doesn't have that visual skill. 14:20 And doesn't understand what you do. 14:22 Teach them. 14:23 Just give them a bit of support during that week to understand your role and 14:25 what you do. 14:30 That's the first thing. 14:32 The second thing is you can actually encourage somebody to learn online. 14:33 You're self taught. 14:40 I'm self taught. 14:40 Jordan's self taught. 14:41 Doesn't mean you have to be with them all the time. 14:43 It just means you can point them in the right direction and 14:45 then occasionally pat them on the back or answer some of their questions. 14:48 It might be that you're not coders here. 14:53 It might be that you want to learn that. 14:55 And you want a reason to learn some coding techniques. 14:57 It might be that you wanna get into UX design or 15:00 you might wanna get into something else. 15:03 So, although it's called National Coding Week and 15:05 it's aimed at adults, it's not strictly speaking, everything to do with coding. 15:07 It's about digital skills. 15:11 About sharing those skills. 15:13 And the third way you can get involved is simply holding a face-to-face course. 15:15 Cuz some people just can't learn online, 15:21 they need face-to-face support to start and then they can go and learn online. 15:22 Might be you're a training agency, and you locally can offer some training courses 15:28 to the public for free or for pay, doesn't matter. 15:33 What we will do is if you support national coding week we will give you 15:35 a shout out about, we will publicize what you do, but 15:40 also we'll encourage other people to get involved. 15:45 So, National coding week is not for profit. 15:48 We don't get a penny from it. 15:51 And it doesn't cost you anything to join. 15:52 It's simply about people locally doing things to stimulate 15:55 the people in the area to get involved in digital skills. 16:00 Now last year, when we held the first one, we had events going 16:05 on in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and some random parts of England. 16:09 We don't want it just to be London-centric. 16:14 We do want it to be genuinely across the regions, 16:16 if it's in a coffee shop that's fantastic. 16:19 If it's the work place, that's fantastic too. 16:22 So national coding week. 16:25 The very least you could do is follow us on twitter @codingweek and 16:29 get up to date with our or keep up to date with what we're trying to achieve. 16:35 You've got plenty time to prepare, it's the week beginning 21st of September. 16:38 Please encourage other people to get involved or get involved yourself. 16:43 You'll probably have fun, you might change your life, 16:47 you might change your [INAUDIBLE]. 16:50 Thank you very much. 16:51 [APPLAUSE]. 16:52 [MUSIC]. 16:55
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