A global network of young programmers.By Rewired State
Great ideas are sometimes characterised by inauspicious beginnings. When the Rewired State team persuaded Google to host a meet-up of under-18 programmers for a weekend hack of open government data, initially only three people signed up.
Undeterred, the team spent the next three months seeking out – and finding – another 47 young coders to take part. In the process they highlighted the parlous position of coding in the UK’s education system at the time, and how much these “young geniuses” valued the opportunity to meet and work with similarly talented peers.
Since then, Young Rewired State (YRS) has spread its wings: every August they curate a week-long “Festival of Code” across the UK, culminating in a showcase weekend which brings together the increasingly wide network of programming talent to display their latest projects. With a calendar of meet-ups, hacks and clubs running throughout the year, YRS is meeting its aim to show that “coding does not have to be isolating”. Their latest efforts are to foster similar communities across the world: Berlin, New York and San Francisco are the first three destinations for “YRS everywhere”.
The movement encouraging young people to become digital makers rather than just digital consumers is gathering pace thanks to the likes of Code Club, Decoded, the Hello World Foundation and Girls Who Code (to name just a few). Along with the increasing number of accessible, free online resources like Codecademy, and multiple introductory courses available on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms, young aspiring digital makers have an increasingly sophisticated support network within which they can flourish. This growing movement should lead to more demand for the work of organisations like YRS, where these skills can be used for social good.
Demonstrating the potential of talented young coders to provide new solutions to a range of policy and practical challenges, YRS has been at the forefront of the wave of interest in young people learning to code in the UK, and they continue to demonstrate the potential of creative, young digital makers.
Image courtesy of Young Rewired Sta
Last updated: 09th of May, 2014