#Croydon #TechCity: Schools Edition – A Review


By - Thursday 7th March, 2013

Following on from our 2013 launch in January, the Croydon Tech City team is moving quickly to make sure Croydon Tech City moves beyond the four walls of Matthews Yard, and starts to make a tangibly positive change across the borough.

The first port of call is the primary schools.

The thrust of last Thursday night’s ‘Schools Edition’ was to educate Croydon’s teachers and the Croydon Tech City community about Code Club – a volunteer-led scheme in which software developers partner with primary schools to provide extra-curricular coding classes for 9-11 year olds. The intention is to have it introduced to Croydon’s primary schools in Summer term, to give our children a better future.

As I took to the stage in the studio of Matthews Yard, I felt very much like one of the many teachers that sat in the audience before me; passive-aggressively authoritarian, struggling to maintain control and shushing anyone who looked like they were having fun.

In any British classroom, the twin spectres of knife crime and technological calamity are never far away and whilst the former was notably absent, there were enough on-stage computer problems to require that awful moment when the class know-it-all (in this case, the Head of Engineering at SAP) comes to the front to teach the teacher how to do the most elementary of reboots.

However, once the mics were working and the wi-fi was regained, the fun really began…

Saaber Fatechi (Azure – Freshers’ Cookbook App)

Saaber is the 16 year old founder of Young Enterprise company, Azure, which has developed an mobile app for students called Freshers’ Cookbook.

Saaber took us through the origins of the app:

We quite quickly decided on focusing on students as our target market. We are all students, most of us have brothers and sisters who are students in university, and it was a market we knew a lot about. So it made sense to gear our product towards students.

We wanted to find a problem, and then come up with a solution. So we did some research asking students what were some of the biggest issues they faced? They replied with money/student debt, girlfriends, boyfriends, not being able to cook, exams etc. We couldn’t really give them money to settle their debt or play cupid so we decided to tackle the issue of cooking.

None of the students were developers so they used a site called Andromo that allowed them to upload (N.B. Any non-coders who have a mobile idea should definitely check out this site).

The audience feedback to Saaber’s story and product was IMMENSE. Just so you all know that just by attending Croydon Tech City you are a massive source of help and encouragement, I thought I would republish this email (with permission) from Saaber:

I just wanted to say thank you so much for asking me to talk last night! I really enjoyed it and got a lot of great feedback from it – we all really appreciate it.

Because of some of the great feedback we had, we’ve now integrated adverts into the app and have now made it free to download! We’re also going to work on our marketing plan using some of last night’s suggestions

Looking forward to next month already!

Thanks again!

Saaber

So well done everyone who attended – you’ve now all experienced and shaped your first technical product iteration!

 Linda Satvik – Code Club

Code Club was borne out of a late-night conversation in a pub last year between founders Clare Sutcliffe and Linda Satvik who were bemoaning the state of ICT in British schools today and also the massive deficit of STEM skills amongst young adults.

Computer science is in a difficult period in the UK at the moment. Up until the end of compulsory education, the IT curriculum has consisted not of the basics surrounding computer programming and coding, but how to use common software packages such as Microsoft Office.

The problem, of course, is that as soon as these programs are updated, or are replaced by something undeniably better, the curriculum becomes largely irrelevant. It also means that fewer children are growing up with any sort of knowledge or experience with coding, thereby stunting the growth of IT startups in the UK.

The girls left the pub with the seeds of an idea and a napkin bearing the words “Change the world”. Soon thereafter, Code Club was established.

Since then, Code Club has now grown to be in over 580 schools around the country – although, sadly, none (yet!) in Croydon.

Fantastically, Prince Andrew has become patron, and ARM had donated enough money for Sutcliffe to become the first full-time employee of the scheme.

Croydon Tech City: Code Club Team

Croydon Tech City has a dedicated group whose remit is to promote and manage the roll out of Code Clubs in the Summer Term.

The team is led by Monique Rebeiro – of young people’s support group Lives Not Knives – with resource support from Croydon software behemoth DotDigital PLC.

The Croydon Tech City: Code Club programme has a twofold effect in that it will not only be educating Croydon’s primary school children, but also the young adults at Lives Not Knives are themselves given a new marketable skillset as they are trained to run Code Club classes.

Jack and Richard from Lives Not Knives took to the stage to explain the Croydon Code Club team’s plans 2013.

At time of writing twelve Croydon primaries schools have signed up to have a Code Club #winning

For more information about Croydon Tech City: Code Club, .

Croydon Tech City FTW

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

More Posts - Twitter