Codebar is a Meetup group in Brighton, London and Cambridge for minorities in Tech. The idea is to make coding exciting for people who have not always been encouraged into tech before. The group is mainly for Women or LGBTQ people – those underrepresented in technology. Currently just one in 20 job applicants for new roles in IT are women so events like this and others are springing up to help redress the balance.
The group is every Tuesday evening in various locations. It’s totally free, very friendly and you even get pizza. It is staffed completely by volunteers and various companies give up their office space to host it. There are enough coaches to take you through the tutorials and give lots of advice on coding. Its social but also very useful training.
Each week I’ve gone I’ve had one-to-one coaching. The expert has sat back patiently not taking over the keyboard but helping explain the exercises and helping with coding. This works really well, coaches are encouraged to not take over and let the student make mistakes and work things out their own way. There is plenty of great advice to coaches such as – ‘assume that anyone you’re teaching has no knowledge but infinite intelligence’ I think many senior programmers would do well to follow this advice as a better way for interacting with new developers.
If you are interested in joining as a coach or student, you need to register on the codebar website. When you turn up, you do need a laptop with wifi connection, you can download the tutorials and get going straight away.