codebar - teaching people in underrepresented groups how to code

Events

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Diversity in all areas of STEM is an issue that many people and organisations have been working on improving for a number of years. After running a few meetups for the last 2 years I personally have noticed a trend in the attendees, that is, a large majority of them are white males. Now all of them are wonderful people, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering where everyone else is.

During a meetup in London about a year ago someone mentioned a not for profit initiative called codebar, whose goal is to help people in underrepresented groups learn how to code. After attending a few of the sessions as a coach I wondered if there was anything similar to it in the Kent area. To my surprise there wasn’t, apart from a few code schools aimed at children.

Two people looking at a laptop learning how to code.

codebar itself is volunteer led, running workshops and other events all around the world. The workshops themselves follow a format of 30 minutes of socialising with food and drink, followed sometimes by a lightning talk, then coding. The students are paired either 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 with the coaches and can either go through the online courses available via the codebar.io site, or get assistance with their own projects. The workshops are free, and available people who fit the eligibility criteria.

This leads me to the purpose of this post. I’m starting a Kent codebar chapter, with the hopes to get more women, LGBTQ and people from other underrepresented groups involved with programming as well as getting tech sector based companies involved with supporting these communities in and around Kent.

A group of students learning to program at a codebar event.

The Kent codebar chapter will start the workshops from the 20th of March, the first of which will be hosted at Yoyo HQ. If you haven’t already signed up to codebar as either a coach or student, you can do so at codebar.io.

Although starting off in Tunbridge Wells, I would like to get companies involved from all around Kent. For any companies who would like become a sponsor for the Kent chapter, you can find more information at manual.codebar.io/becoming-a-sponsor or email [email protected].