Mentoring the start-up talent of the future, at #Festival of Code 2015
21 August 2015, by Chris Arnott
What is Young Rewired State and the Festival of Code?
The Festival runs for a week early in the summer holidays. Young digital pioneers, working with the support of volunteer mentors, collaborate to build apps, websites, games and problem solving algorithms aimed to help improve their communities. The only rule is that their projects have to use at least one piece of Open Data – anything from Twitter feeds and weather data, to research data from CERN, so long as it’s free and publicly accessible.
At the end of the week, the coders converge to showcase their projects and compete in the finals. This year, they presented their projects to expert judges, mentors and the press at the Birmingham International Convention Centre on 1st and 2nd August.
What do the youngsters and mentors get out of it?
Who better to hear from than a youngster who got involved?! See what George says.
The mentors also have a great time! As Will said, ‘Everyone worked really hard and had a great time; people’s enthusiasm reminded me of why I learnt to program’.
What did the coders at the Bristol centre build?
- A spoiler alert browser extension hiding content from TV shows from web pages across the internet.
- A Top Trumps-like game about local places.
- A weather and accident map visualisation to explore the correlation between the two.
- A game where you bet points on whether search terms become more or less popular on google.
- A map of airports and their associated live data.
Who won the nationwide competition?!
Here’s TechCrunch Mike Butcher’s post on this year’s Festival, with a run down of the winners.
Some noteworthy facts:
- In seven festivals, the numbers of girls involved has grown from 2% to 30%. You can see more about this in Emma Mulqueeny’s post – she founded the Festival of Code.
- This year, there were 66 regional centres in the UK with over 1200 coders participating at the weekend showcase.
A huge thank you to our Bristol intern Will Price and developer Jake McKenna for giving up their week to support the participants.