National Coding Week was started in the UK back in 2014 by former headteacher Richard Rolfe and tech entrepreneur Jordan Love. The idea was to help adults to improve upon digital literacy in order to fill a growing skills gap in the UK. It takes place every year on the 3rd Monday of September and lasts for the entire week.
These days, National Coding Week is celebrated across all age ranges and specifically gives children and young people a taste of coding and development with the added benefits of improving communication skills, problem solving, and teamwork.
Tech in the UK
So does the skills gap that National Coding Week set out to combat still exist in the UK? In short, yes. In London last year alone, there were more than 18,000 new Tech Start-ups founded. Across the country, there was an increase of 62% in new Tech Start-ups being registered. With roughly £29.4 Billion invested into the UK Tech market in 2021, more and more “Decacorns” (companies worth $10 Billion or more) are going to become more and more frequent – the UK already holds 13 Decacorns.
On top of all of that, the UK has recently had it’s Tech Industry valued at $1tn (that’s a million millions) – only the third industry in the world to be valued at this figure! That means the UK’s Tech Industry is valued at double that of Germany’s, the largest European tech market.
Outside of London, the top 10 cities in the UK for Tech (based on VC capital investment, growth, local economy, and start-ups founded) are, in order: Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Cardiff, and Belfast.
With massive growth across the UK, not just London, National Coding Week is becoming more and more important to encourage young people in particular into the industry.
Technology vacancies make up a massive 14% of all vacancies advertised in the UK. Between January and May 2022 there were roughly 870,000 tech jobs advertised. That’s the highest number recorded! However, companies hiring attitudes and expectations aren’t matching up with the skillsets available. For every entry level position, there are 8 mid to senior level adverts posted.
How do I get into coding?
The UK has some of the best Higher Education Institutions in the world, and with initiatives like National Coding Week getting more people into Tech earlier – it’s the perfect time to look at those Junior Candidates – some of whom have been coding since the very first National Coding Week back in 2014. We’d all love a developer with 8-years’ experience!
There are also companies like SheCodes to get more Women into the Technology Industry. Only 19% of positions in the Digital Tech Workforce in the UK are filled by women. Women hired in Software Developer or Engineering positions make up only 14.5% of the workforce! On average, other industries in the UK report that 49% of their workforce is female so there’s some serious catching up to do! Businesses like SheCodes are giving women the opportunity to develop their skillsets outside of higher education.
Other businesses like the Code Institute offer free coding courses to test the waters and see if coding is for you, before you go for the paid full stack courses. Both Code Institute and SheCodes are flexible to fit around your life and current employment and both have won awards for Best Bootcamps as well!
Growth & nurturing talent
Since National Coding Week started in 2014 the UK has seen tremendous growth in the amount of people getting into Software Development. In 2014 there were roughly 274,000 Software Development professionals. That number stands at roughly 465,700 as of last year. That’s almost an increase of 70%!
Worldwide, the Software Development population is predicted to grow from 26.2 Million Developers currently to over 43 Million in just the next 3 years! Initiatives like National Coding Week are therefore so important to get people into coding and development.
With massive forecasted growth, masses of investment, and an ever present skills gap, the importance of National Coding Week cannot be understated.
Rise are a firm believer in nurturing talent – we have been an Investors In People Gold Award holder. Whilst some of our Recruiters have experience in the recruitment industry, or from hiring in previous companies, a lot of our success stories come from taking a chance on young people with the right motivations and personality, and then giving them a supportive platform to grow and develop.
This is a model that has worked unbelievably well for us and something we’ve seen work for thousands of our clients over the last 17 years. If you’re looking for your next hire into your Tech Teams and considering how to go about it then please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me directly at email@example.com and we’re more than happy to go through strategies and market insights with you.
And to find out more about National Coding Week and how to get involved, please see their website here: https://codingweek.org/
If you’re looking for your next position in the tech industry (or any other industry for that matter) then please see our website here: https://www.risetechnical.co.uk/
To find out more about SheCodes please visit their website: https://www.shecodes.io/
And to find out more about the Code Institute please visit their website: https://codeinstitute.net/