Why coding isn’t just for geeky guys

A new BBC Three series Girls Can Code will take this subject head on, and here Leigh-Ann, Head of Student Well-Being at CodeClan, explains why we need to ditch the stereotypes around coding…

When you were at school, chances are you learned a foreign language. Even if that means all you can remember now is “quel âge as-tu?”, or “guten tag!”.

Now there are various reports circling the internet at the moment that suggest that coding is becoming the most popular “language” to be learned in primary schools.

Coding is a special language used to operate your computer, smartphone apps and much more…

Learning to code is just like learning a new language, it’s a skill that can be taught and anyone can do it. CodeClan are here to break through the stereotypical idea that only ‘geeky guys’ can code.

Have you ever heard of Marissa Mayer? She was one of the first 20 engineers at Google; in fact, she was hired in the same month that Google got it’s first round of funding.

Now she’s the current president and CEO of Yahoo, after a stint as Google’s VP of search product and user experience for their products, including Google Maps.

If you’re still not convinced, just consider this quote from Black Eyed Peas star and The Voice judge Will.I.Am.

“Music is cool. But I’m just so much more excited about technology. It’s like I’m 13,14 all over again. When I was 12, 13, 14 all I wanted to do was music. Now I’m a little older, all I think about is technology and consumer electronic products.”

He has previously donated £500,000 to encourage people to learn to code, and believes code is ‘the most creative space’. It may come as a surprise to fans that he’s a frequent fixture at MIT, where he checks out the latest wearable tech and robots.

If Will.I.Am can travel the world with his music projects and learn to code – you can too.

You don’t have to be a guy; you don’t have to be young. You don’t need to be a Maths whizz. If you’re willing to learn and apply yourself – you can.

Rebecca Heaney, Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment at CodeClan, agrees.

“When anyone asks me why I am so interested in technology I always answer that I don’t see it as a separate ‘thing’. I see technology as an everyday part of our life and being involved in it as absolutely essential,” she says.

“Understanding how technology works, how we use it to make things and how we actually utilise it, is just something that we should be doing. It’s like studying Maths and English at school. I see coding as the third essential language we all need to understand and speak, otherwise we will be left behind.

It’s not geeky to want to ask questions and solve problems – to me it should be a normal everyday skill. Imagine looking at coding the same way you think of English. By being able to read and understand all those lovely words in the English language, you can do so much – read books, write blogs, pen a novel etc etc.

It’s the same with code and tech. By being able to code, just think of all the amazing things you can do – create amazing products and experiences, get it into the market, do things quicker and better –the list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Tech is for geeks should come and visit us at Codeclan and see what today and tomorrow looks like. Come and have fun and future proof yourself.”

Girls Can Code starts on Monday night at 9pm on BBC Three.