Our Head of Curriculum, Sara Dodd, looks back at a successful new short course for professionals and more ways to learn at CodeClan.
It’s been just over a month since a team of 12 lawyers from DLA Piper’s Edinburgh office joined us for a coding course designed to help them better understand the rapidly evolving digital world.
As legal adviser to CodeClan since we opened in 2015, John McKinlay, head of DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice in Scotland, was acutely aware that he and his team needed to better understand what his clients actually do.
As John noted on his LinkedIn profile ahead of the course, “More and more companies are, in effect, becoming technology businesses. We want to have practical experience rather than just theoretical knowledge of the fundamental building blocks of these businesses.”
He also wanted to validate his belief that there’s common ground between the ways in which lawyers and coders think. “The basic logical concept of ‘If x, then y’ underpins what both lawyers and coders do in resolving problems,” he wrote, feeling that nuances would emerge and that doing the course would allow his team to see beyond the “language divide” and find out how much was shared.
Meeting the needs of professionals
We’re best-known for our intensive 16-week software development course, taking students, the majority of them career changers, and training them up to the level of junior developers.
We also launched a new course in October, an Intro to Programming evening class that takes the first week of the 16-week course and spreads it out across 10 lessons.
With John and his team keen to learn the basics of programming in a more timely manner, we worked together to create a three-day course tailored to their needs based on programming fundamentals and best practice in software development.
The result was that the 12 lawyers learned the tools, techniques and terminology used by software development and digital tech companies, creating a working web application from end-to-end using a variety of software and languages.
Again, all in just three days.
‘Something every professional should complete’
Following the course, we asked the DLA Piper team for their feedback, with Alexander Hendry stating, “I really can’t commend it highly enough. I think the course was fantastic and the quality of the instruction was absolutely first-rate … I think we could all see how the concepts we were discussing, and the skills we were learning, are relevant, not just to our clients, but to us as lawyers.
“It was also great to gain more exposure to the tech start-up scene, and to meet and to get to know the people involved. The buzz at CodeClan, and the genuine passion and enthusiasm that everyone exhibited is very inspiring!”
Other comments ranged from “Brilliant introduction, with real depth and really well delivered,” to “Something every professional should complete,” and “Enjoyable, informative introduction to coding for professionals who work with the tech sector but have no technical background.”
Of the three day course, I’m happy to discuss how it could be relevant to other professionals in more industries, so feel free to get in touch.
For professionals who want to learn at their own pace, individuals and teams might also be interested in the new 10-week Intro to Programming evening class. It starts a new run on Wednesday 16th November, with another due to start in early 2017.