As part of the BBC Make It Digital season, Freeformers were asked to take part in a programme on BBC Three called Girls Can Code.
It was screened in September 2015 and saw five girls selected for a journey into the world of demystifying digital technology. It showed how they could use those skills in their future working lives.
Over two days, they attended a coding bootcamp at our HQ in London’s Somerset House where trainers Kai and Lewie demonstrated how to create an online CV, develop an app and the evolution of the Internet of Things. For that part SAMs Labs joined us on the second day.
The participants were from a wide range of backgrounds including a law secretary, students and PAs. They proved to be delightful and studious learners, who were soon asking very in-depth questions and asking how they could use coding for projects in their own lives.
During our appearance on-screen, trainer Kai was seen advocating about our one_for1 programme, which was a great chance to spread our message to a new audience.
After the show was broadcast, we saw a huge surge of interest from 16-25 year olds wanting to get more involved with coding and learn new digital skills. This came via numerous emails, calls and tweets.
It led us to arrange a special session at the BBC where 20 bright young people got the chance to learn how to code, create an app from scratch and meet one of the participants on the programme, Arooj Shaikh.
There was even a tour around the BBC building and the chance to network with people in various roles there.
Those attending also got the chance to give live feedback about the new Mixital platform [https://www.mixital.co.uk/] created by the BBC. Martin Wilson, Head of Digital Product, who headed up the project, questioned them on their thoughts.
Martin was so impressed with the feedback that he invited six of the participants back to the BBC to show them the work & apprenticeship possibilities available there.
There was even a guest talk from founder of hassle.com, Alex Depledge, who talked about how she set up her business and what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.
One of the participants, 18-year-old K’Ci Beckford, impressed so much that he was asked back for three weeks work experience in January 2016.