This summer, we decided to try out something a little different to our usual courses. We invited students who had already done a CF: G course, or had some programming experience, to come along to Campus London and build whatever way they liked! They spent three weeks building on their own project or idea, with our instructors on hand to give help and advice. So, what emerged from these three weeks?
The first session started off with introductions to familiarise everyone with each other. We got to know everyone’s spirit animal (yes - spirit animal! Which included lynx, penguin, tiger, and… owlfish?!) as well as initial project ideas.Then, without further ado, everyone was let loose and began to build. Some people began mapping user journeys, aided by our UX- guru instructor Elizabeth Chesters, while others teamed up and refined ideas.
Throughout the bootcamp we also had some brilliant guests and speakers along to meet the class. Rupert Whitehead from Google Developers told us that not only are we learning to code - we’re also taking the first steps into the fast-growing world of ubiquitous computing. We also found out about Google’s interesting Women Techmakers programme, which gives the essential role models and routes to women wanting to get involved in the industry.
Savs Tan from EF kicked off one of our sessions by giving us the low-down on their fantastic tech incubator programme,warmly encouraging our students to get involved if interested.
We also had a lovely visit from London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan MP, who had come to Campus to find out a little more about the tech startup space as well as seeing our tech skills development model in action! We also made the amazing discovery that the giant CAMPUS feature in the room lights up, which was very aesthetically pleasing.
After each visit the CF:G's seemed inspired and worked on their projects with renewed vigour
Our final session was truly a last hurrah, as we welcomed three fantastic guest speakers who also helped us to pick out standout projects. We kicked off with Leanne Kemp, founder of Everledger, a revolutionary startup that uses blockchain to combat diamond fraud and theft. She shared her own wisdom on how to grow - key points being to a) think big and b) be persistent: “literally stalk people on LinkedIn”.
Ioana Serban (software tester for eBay Inc.) then gave us some heartfelt advice on working hard and getting that cheese, passing on her feelings of inspiration from meetups and conferences she attends. Thanks for reminding us that our “dreams will come true!”
We also heard from Joe Ros, founder at Howcloud, the innovative edtech platform we use for our coding classes. He took us through his story from spurning an investment grad job in favour of working in tech, from the gruelling online game industry to developing Howcloud on the EF programme.
Then came the exciting part where when everyone gave a short presentation of their ideas. These are just some of the cool ideas that people had been working hard on!
Sarah’s fish conservation project used SQL databases to prioritise fish species based on noise levels.
Lydia’s website scrapes information from wholefood retailers for parents looking for healthier alternatives to feed their kids.
Laura used Java to build an entertaining game called “Being a Groan Up” and also had ideas for scaling the project in a really unique way too.
Many of them were still works in progress but we can’t deny that every single one of them was fascinating and original. It was great to hear about the resources everyone used to build, and the highs and lows of their journeys.
Our judges, settled in their beanbags, helped to pick out some of the standout projects for our mini-prizegiving (although everyone who came and took the course is, of course, a winner). Goody bags were distributed and without much further ado, we headed to a nearby pub for a last celebration of our amazing summer coding sessions. To everyone involved: Campus, students, instructors, guests, you all helped to create something special over these few months.
Code First: Girls