A DEVELOPER at digital agency Yoyo is hoping to encourage under-represented groups into technology by launching accessible workshops.
Mike Masey, 27, has worked for the Tunbridge Wells firm for three years and considers the local industry to have a disproportionate number of white male professionals.
He has now called on Kent companies to help him establish a series of free informal training sessions called ‘codebar’, which have already proved a success in diversifying Brighton, London and Oxford’s technology industries.
“At meet-up events with tech firms, it is predominantly white guys who attend, and I know there are more people from different demographics [with the ability to succeed],” he said.
“There is a well-known level of discrimination in tech. There is a movement to get women into STEM-based careers [science, technology, engineering and mathematics], but it is such a deep-rooted issue it is going to take time.”
The codebar workshops, set to begin in March, aim to help women, LBGTQ and ethnic minority groups interested in pursuing a career in the industry.
There is no age or experience limit. They offer a safe and collaborative environment to learn programming.
Workshops are likely to be run on a monthly or fortnightly basis around the county, and anyone can learn from the guidance of industry experts volunteering to share their knowledge.
Yoyo has already taken on interns specifically from diverse backgrounds.
Volunteers Mr Masey is managing the sessions, having previously spoken at and provided guidance to groups in London, which he said can range from five attendees to 80.
He continued: “I would just like to try and do something positive, and if it leads to one person getting a job in tech then I will be happy.
“At the moment, it is a case of planning and gathering interest. I am not really sure what to expect, but I will see what comes.”
It is not essential for every session to be attended, and codebar does not operate as a course, but rather allows anyone to gain an insight into programming and receive guidance on taking next steps.
Businesses interested in taking part are being asked to get in touch.
Volunteers to lead sessions and office space are essential for the operation. In some meetings, food and drink is also provided free. A good Wi-Fi connection and adequate table space is also required.
There is no experience required, only that attendees are over the age of 18. Attendees would be welcome to bring a child.
To get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit codebar.io