There has been a lot of media coverage of the launch of CodeClan, Scotland’s new digital academy. Backed by the Scottish Government and ScotlandIS, CodeClan has the potential to make a big difference. The academy has a straightforward purpose: to train students to become a new generation of software developers who, in turn, will populate Scotland’s flourishing digital sector and help it drive forward the digital businesses that we need to compete in the global economy.
With, literally, thousands of digital jobs being available/created in Scotland each year and entry-level salaries estimated in the £23K-£25K bracket, coupled with the problems of our schools not producing enough pupils qualified in computing science (see Be-IT blogs passim), this is not just an exciting but, I’d argue, an essential development.
Crucially in my view, a tech background is not necessary to get on to the CodeClan course. Given the aforementioned problems in the secondary education sector, we can’t afford to ration places to those who have the ‘necessary’ qualifications – there are simply not enough of them just now.
That said, CodeClan is aimed at STEM graduates, but also those with an aptitude for coding but who haven’t at present got a route into the industry. And although a tech background isn’t necessary, to get onto the course applicants have to pass a stiff selection process, including a mandatory three week pre-qualification course.
At Be-IT, our future is dependent not just on the depth and breadth of our existing contacts but also on a flow of up-and-coming talent. At present, as the entire industry knows, this flow is, how can I put this, a bit dribbly at times, so we welcome this initiative and others like it. Without wishing to sound overly melodramatic, it’s not just important, it’s vital that we do everything we can to train and develop as many talented software specialists as possible. If we want to fulfil the country’s potential then we need these jobs and we need them filled by qualified people – and CodeClan should help in both those endeavours.
Gareth Biggerstaff, MD, Be-IT Resourcing