In its fourth year, Financial Times kicked off Digital Learning Week in London with a coding session in tribute to the "mother" of coding, Ada Lovelace.
Participants were treated to refreshments and views of the London city skyline as Angelique Vu, ambassador for Women in Learning and Leadership UK (WILL UK), inaugurated the morning with remembrances of Ada Lovelace (December 10, 1815 – November 27, 1852) and her contribution to STEM subjects. Lovelace is known as a female pioneer in engineering.
Lovelace referred to her approach as “poetic science” and set out to write notes and design diagrams that contained algorithms to instruct a machine to digest a code and read letters, symbols and numbers. The code, now referred to as the first published computing program, would not be used until the 1950’s, many years after its creation.
Lovelace's mentor, Charles Babbage, tried to garner government funding but failed to follow up their mathematical ideas, which might have sparked the computing revolution sooner.
The initiative, a networking breakfast at Southwark, sponsored by WILL UK, welcomed a diverse group, interconnected with events across four offices in Harlow, Holborn, Manchester, and Southwark to coincide with Ada Lovelace Day, October 13th.
Cracking kick-off to FT’s Digital Learning Week, accompanied by a coding session
A lack of coding confidence is a problem amongst many organisations, and there is a growing need to encourage coding skills and promote events like the Coding Session.
Hosted by a Code Club volunteer, the session challenged novices to build on MIT Scratch software that uses stacking commands (like LEGO blocks) to program functions.
The challenge encouraged colleagues, from HR teams to C-Level management, to gain a greater understanding of software engineering and the development of the technical skill-set. Last year, Decoded ran an intensive course over two days for senior management to learn how to code.
As organisations reach a maturity in the digital evolution, a next phase is set in motion to develop programming and coding skills, and not only for those whose jobs require it, but to a wider stakeholder group. The importance of being versatile and agile is imperative to the survival of most businesses.
Corporate coding intiatives focus on collaboration across departments, innovation in learning practices and integration of employees from across the business. Company infrastructures are being created to embrace the culture of learning, and a foundation is being set so that coding sessions can be initiated in the future.
Myriad organisations are working harder to develop employees' digital and technical skills. Forward thinking organisations see the value of investment in these skills with 87% of companies feeling that digital transformation is a competitive opportunity. (Capgemini, 2013)
Kathryn Parsons of Decoded, who ran a similar event last year, tweeted her support for the event.