National Coding Week

Codeclan milestone as women urged to go digital

Melinda Matthews Clarkson

Melinda Matthews Clarkson: ‘more women need to enter the digital space’


Codeclan, the digital skills academy, has reached the halfway point in its aim of training 1,000 students by the end of 2020.

Iona Macbeth, 27, became the 500th student to pass through the training facility based at the Codebase incubator in Edinburgh.

Her completion of the 16-week Professional Software Development course was also an important milestone in encouraging more females to sign up for digital training ahead of National Coding Week which begins on Monday.

Ms Macbeth said: “I’ve always been interested in finding out how things work. In my previous job at a communication agency I found myself using more and more digital tools for work and started getting curious about learning to code.

“I was also working with some technology clients and ended up working on events to promote women getting into tech. At some point I just thought, “why don’t I do it myself?’ “ 

Melinda Matthews Clarkson, chief executive of CodeClan, said: “It’s been fantastic to witness Iona’s determination these past four months, knowing that she left behind a successful career and allowed us to help her move into the Scottish digital technology industry.

“One in four of our graduates placed in tech roles to-date have been female and we know our employer partners want to have more diverse workplaces.

“Our goal is for women to total 40% of our graduating classes by 2020. As well as hosting National Coding Week events, we are hosting our Digital Women’s Group this Autumn with a stronger focus on understanding and addressing the issues facing women in growing their careers in the digital space.”

Ms Macbeth concluded: “My advice would be to just give it a go, there are a lot of great free resources online to try it out. In addition, there are some great meet-ups like Women Who Code, which has a really supportive community and you can find out about other people’s experiences in the industry.”

Skills academy launches

A consortium of international companies together with Fife Council, Fife College and Fintech Scotland, have joined forces to launch Scotland’s first Fintech Skills Academy. 

The consortium, which includes Renovite Technologies and Ingenico Group, launched the academy at the premises of Paywizard in Kirkcaldy 

The aim is to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applicants for the growing number of specialist roles in Fintech in the region and to avoid the potential of a skills gap. 

Core members of the consortium were joined by members of the public, including current students of the college, along with other local Fintech businesses that have expressed an interest in joining the Academy consortium

The Fintech Skills Academy syllabus is aimed at both young people about to enter work for the first time and adults with a background in IT wishing to upskill or retrain specifically for employment in financial technology environments.

Courses will be based on practical industry experience but taught in a structured learning framework, having been designed in a collaboration between Fife College and Fintech businesses.

Krystyna Marett of Fife College who is developing the course curriculums said:  “We are launching the Fintech Academy with a Retail Card Business Course January 2019 for IT professionals already working in the payments industry. We are excited to be working with Fife Fintech employers to develop training for their sector.”

Subject areas will range from specialisms such as payment processing to systems testing, device certification and business domain knowledge, amongst others. The courses at the Fintech Skills Academy will be funded by partaking businesses with the potential for further support where applicable.



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