WorkCast, a leading webinar and webcasting Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform company, is part of the North East’s growing number of technology companies transforming the region. In recent years, The North East has been solidly establishing the highest rate of technology start-ups outside of the capital. Sunderland, for example, was recently named as the site for one of the UK’s Digital Catapult Centres and is the home of Sunderland Software City. So, there’s never been a better time to work in a technology company.
One thing WorkCast, and other tech companies in the North East, are always aware of is that in order to build on this momentum we need to retain and attract local talent. For us, that’s more than offering incentives to move into the area, it’s about fostering a strong sense of the technology industry’s potential in the people and, most importantly, the kids who live here.
That’s why, when one of WorkCast’s Software Developers, Jonathan Carling, approached them about starting a ‘CodeClub’ at East Herrington Primary Academy WorkCast was keen to support him. CodeClub is a nationwide network of after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Entirely volunteer led, the club’s aim is to introduce coding and software development to primary school children. The sessions occur once a week, for an hour, and aim to teach children how to program and make computer games, animations and websites using free software tools such as Scratch. This informal and fun method of learning helps them understand popular coding languages used in real-life application, including HTML, CSS and Python.
CodeClub has seen huge success as teachers anticipate the introduction of coding and software development into the curriculum. In fact, Jonathan believes the teachers who attend his weekly CodeClub get just as much value from it as the children.
“One of the reasons I got involved with CodeClub was not only to help children but also the teachers. I believe introducing programming will be a difficult transition to make, as before now there has been little encouragement to learn the skills required. So I jumped at the chance to share my skills for the benefit of others.” – Jonathan Carling, Software Developer at WorkCast.
It’s too early to tell whether any of the kids Jonathan teaches at CodeClub will eventually go on to software engineering or development. However, WorkCast likes to think that his efforts are continually encouraging the career path, whilst also reaffirming that the North East is the home of pioneering technology. And if some of the kids at Jonathan’s CodeClub eventually want to be Webinar Software Developers, well then, that’s great for WorkCast too!
You can read more about WorkCast, and Jonathan’s, involvement in the WorkCast Blog.