Last night, Zooniverse hosted the very first codebar workshop in Oxford, which got together 10 volunteer coaches and 13 students to learn and teach coding! The Zooniverse team got more baguettes than we could eat from Mortons and set up in the Oxford Martin School for the evening. Zooniverse coaches also made up half of the coaching volunteers for the evening.simone

Codebar is a non-profit initiative that aims to diversify tech by offering up free coding tuition to people from minority groups. Hosts provide free food, and a space, and then students and coaches work through the tutorials on the codebar website together for just over an hour.

Marten kicked off the evening by giving an inspiring talk on the different uses of coding – from writing music, to having your washing machine text you when it’s ready, or programming a Roomba for your cat to sit on. He also encouraged the beginners that it’s okay (in fact normal) to go to Google if you’re stuck, that to start off it’s okay to copy and paste, and that it’s okay to find error messages hard to deal with – all important things for beginners to learn. It set a good tone for the learning for the rest of the evening.

We had lots of compjimlete beginners join us for the workshop, and so lots of students had their first ‘hello world’ moment with HTML. There were also people learning CSS, JavaScript and Python, all starting to learn the concepts of programming and working through examples with the help of their coach. The atmosphere was amazing and it was hard to get everyone out of the room at the end!