It’s hard to believe that the third cohort to pass through Northcoders’ doors have almost finished their 13 weeks with us. It seems like just the other day I was greeting them all in the reception of The Sharp Project, giving them their tour of the campus, encouraging them to join Knitting Club, and hearing James give them the customary, inspiring Welcome Talk to spur them through the next few challenging months of their lives.
Now they’re deep into project phase, and one of the most rewarding things is to see how self-sufficient they have all become and to overhear conversations where they discuss, with pretty incredible insight, topics such as database design, persistent storage options, authentication strategies and deployment pipelines. Even more incredible is that half of them are now far more experienced than me in the technology they’ve chosen to adopt for their projects - React Native - a framework for building native mobile apps on Android and iOS.
In just under 2 weeks, they’ll begin looking for jobs and I couldn’t be more excited to see the kinds of roles this group land themselves with. They are a pretty amazing bunch and probably bring the most diverse set of backgrounds and talents to the table we’ve ever had (we’ve got ages from 17 to 47, and previous careers ranging from medicine to van driving), but what’s certain is that every single one of them has come a tremendous way since they began back in October and should be so proud of themselves. Bring on our graduation party!
We Won the Co-op Digital challenge at HackManchester 2016
We couldn’t believe it, after only 4 months training we had managed to pull off a Trump-sized upset. We won the Co-op Digital challenge and built a working natural language processor and AI app in just 24 hours at the largest hackathon in the North, HackManchester.
I’m overdue a post on coding and why, for me, it’s one of the most amazing things you can spend your time doing. I just wanted to get this one out first though. This is quite a personal post but I think it’ll resonate with at least a few people who read it.
Why We're Starting Northcoders
Last Friday, I drove back across the breadth of the North, from Hull where I used to catch ferries home to Belgium as an eight year old, back past York where I went to school, past Leeds where Mum’s from and where my beloved grandmother was laid to rest, Huddersfield where Dad’s from, Halifax where I was born and then to Manchester where Chris, my co-founder, was born and where my son will grow up.