Supporting students into Tech roles during a pandemic.
Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the UK’s workforce by necessitating a widespread transition to remote working. Alongside this, 2020 highlighted the need for diversity and representation across the UK’s tech sector; only 5% of technology leaders identify as female, and only 5% of the UK’s Tech talent identify as coming from a BAME background.
These numbers cast a long shadow over the industry and lag behind many other European nation’s efforts. The traditional hiring structure is partially to blame for this issue. Leaders historically gravitate towards computer science graduates from top universities, who possess limited diversity in thought or background. Alternatively, businesses employ from boot camps who charge an average fee of £8,000-£12,000, thus closing the door to many of our best and brightest.
School of Code is on a mission to get more and different types of people into tech. They are closing the digital skills gap by turning diverse cohorts of people into work-ready full stack developers suited to remote, agile teams. The bonus: It’s free to attend. Funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority, corporate sponsors, and employer partners levels the playing field and eliminates barriers to entry. Employer Partners include The Economist, Santander, Purplebricks, Bravissimo and other companies that all share School of Code’s passion for diversifying the Tech sector.
Andrew Barrclough, CTO at VoxPopMe said: “School of Code gives us access to incredible people whose engineering education wasn’t typical, which pays enormous dividends.”
Jujhar Singh, Global DevSecOpsLead at The Economist, added: “We’ve hired 7 SoC Bootcampers over various cohorts and they’ve come to us fully trained as human beings with a deep desire to learn – all we’ve had to do is teach a smidgen of tech and away they go.”
The current cohort of 48 Bootcampers have started their journey in September 2020 in School of Code’s first fully remote Bootcamp and have spent the past four weeks developing Technical solutions to real-world business challenges. They will present these solutions to a live online audience on Wednesday, January 20th during the first online Demo Day 4.0.
Arshi Sheikh, current Bootcamper, said: “It was inspiring to see people from all backgrounds come together to support each other and learn to code. There was a low entry barrier and the only real requirement was a desire to intensely learn and be challenged. It’s accessible to everyone.”
Chris Meah, CEO of School of Code, said: “Technology will be the engine of recovery for the country, but we need to make sure everyone is on board to benefit. At the School of Code we are open to everyone to help more and different types of people take advantage of the opportunities technology gives, and to future proof their skills and career. Bootcamps offer a short, intensive, immersive and transformational learning sprint to a new career. We change people’s lives by taking them through a transformational, team-based journey giving participants the right skills to be immediately useful to employers on day one. But crucially our bootcampers also learn how to learn.”
This proven model has seen 90% of previous bootcamp cohorts successfully placed into digital roles throughout the UK. Whether they started the course as a palaeontologist or a classical guitarist with no tech experience, they have all learned the technical, problem solving, and creative skills required to join high-performing tech teams and make an impact immediately.
Former bootcamper Clare Streets, now Associate Director at B13 Technology, said of her Bootcamp experience:, “I’d resigned myself to the idea that there weren’t any viable opportunities for me to pursue a rewarding and progressive career with young children in tow and then I found the School of Code. On completion of the course, my career went from 0 to 100mph in just under six months and I couldn’t be more excited about growing further within the industry.”