Joining a coding class can be a little bit intimidating. Although we run a 12-hour course for complete beginners, often people feel slightly nervous before their first session. They’re not sure whether they ought to have some prior knowledge, how hard it’s going to be, or what coding is even like. (Spoilers: No you don’t, yes it’s hard but you’ll be able to do it, and coding is awesome!)
For other people, £100 is simply too much to spend to find out whether you’re going to enjoy something or not. And others join the Introduction to Programming course because they want to see what our teaching environment is like prior to applying to our Bootcamp, but they’re really well beyond beginner’s level.
We decided to start running a monthly taster session to respond to these problems. Our first session ran during National Coding Week 2017 and we opened our doors to 20 people. After a quick talk on the history of computing and an introduction to the world of programming, we gave everyone some algorithmic thinking exercises to work on in pairs, to give people a taste of what it feels like to begin thinking like a programmer.
We then came together as a group to discuss our solutions - much like we do after project work during our Bootcamp! We were surprised at how easily our participants managed to come up with inventive solutions to the problems we set them, and it was great to see people with more and less programming experience collaborating to figure out what they needed to do.
We then talked about what life’s like as a developer, what we do at Northcoders, how to get started learning to code, and opened the floor to any questions.
We hope that being able to get a taste of what coding feels like was useful and has helped people make a decision about whether to pursue it further. We’ll be running another taster session in October and you can book your free ticket here. If you want to get started learning a bit about coding right away, sign up to our free 4-week coding guide that we’ll deliver to your inbox.