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Chartered Institute for IT holds first Codeathon at UTC Reading

The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) held their first Codeathon at UTC Reading on 6 February. Teams from the UTC, University of Reading and BCS members competed to build an app in one day.

Each team of four people had to think of and implement their own ideas with no instructions. One group from UTC Reading received an award for the most ambitious idea; an isometric randomly generated networked maze game. Student Brett Saunders said: “Looking back, our idea may have been a bit too ambitious, but we really wanted to test ourselves and see what we could do.

“It was an amazing experience and a lot of fun. I was surprised at the end at how much it had taught me about teamwork and managing what I was able to achieve in a given time.”

Daniel Sydes, Computer Science Teacher at UTC Reading, said: “The Codeathon was a great event for building up teamwork and joint coding skills. Students were given a little more flexibility than they might normally have in their class assignments, and it was ultimately a fun way for them to practise and develop useful coding skills.”

Following the event, Anthony Parker, Chair of Berkshire Branch BCS, commented: “Zuckerberg, Gates, Brin, Wozniak, Dorsey, Mayer – what do all these people have in common?

“The answer is that they all started off as computer coders and are now billionaires. Learning to code is so important in our current fast-paced technological world, companies and future career paths can be moulded by it. It makes communication in the world possible. It brings people together and provides services to those that need it. This is why at the BCS, we believe that learning to code at a young age cannot just give you a sense of how the world works, but can also be a substantial career path – and fun to boot!

“The skills the competitors at the BCS Codeathon demonstrated were the ability to learn from each other, collaborate and work in teams. This is how business is conducted today and how decisions get made. In a Codeathon environment you are using both hard and soft skills that you will use after your studies. Coding will give you an understanding of the technical limitations of business and working in a team environment will give you the reasoning and discussion skills used everyday in business. It’s very difficult to find a company that doesn’t use some element of IT in their day to day business activities.

“So go out there, learn, code, be curious and set yourself up for a future where IT usage is growing. This is only the start! Thank you to all the UTC students for participating, thank you for the laughs and the enthusiasm. Let’s do it again sometime.”

  • Active Learning
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of Reading
  • Network Rail
  • Peter Brett