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Armchair code network

I’ve been inspired lately by smart women setting up code clubs and networks in some of the major UK cities. At times like this I wish I lived closer to the action, to take advantage of stuff like this, but I also realise there’s nothing stopping us from doing the exact same thing right where we are.

So that’s what I propose to do; starting on Wednesday 21st January, I’ll be running an informal coding club, with the emphasis on ‘informal’. There will be no classroom environment, no curriculum, no teacher up front – what there will be, is coffee and comfortable chairs and a gathering of friendly people who know a bit about coding and want to either share and help others, or learn a bit more themselves, or both.

Why do I think this is worth doing? For one thing,because we’re still worried about too few girls in STEM subjects, too few girls learning to code, and too few women entering the sector with too many leaving for other careers. So this is modelled on various different movements around the country trying to provide supportive spaces for women to learn. But actually, if I’m honest, this club isn’t all about addressing the whole gender imbalance. I just realised that I can’t code very well, I’m probably not the only person at my workplace who’d like to learn but doesn’t have time to take a course, and some sort of informal drop in with close proximity to coffee and friendly faces might just be the answer. This might be a set up that suits women more; but I’m not trying to make it a women-only club. Chaps who want to learn will be equally welcome. 

The plan is to hold the first session at 4:30pm on 21st January, arranged so you can drop in at the end of the work day, see what it’s all about, and still get away to get home at a reasonable hour. The venue is the Coaver Club on Topsham Road in Exeter – chosen because it’s attached to my workplace, County Hall, but still fairly central for others.

I admit I have no idea what sort of thing our learners might want to do, so I’ll arrange for as many different experts to be on hand for initial chats. If you plan to come along let me know what you’d like to know about or what you might be able to help other people with, and we can plug any gaps before the day I hope. I’m a great believer in going with the flow …

Drop us a line if you’d like to know more ahead of time, or if you want to request something specific, and I’ll update everyone with more details as I get them.