Former IBM vice president to take reins at CodeClan

Codeclan is among the companies getting more women involved in coding.
Codeclan is among the companies getting more women involved in coding.
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Digital skills academy CodeClan has appointed a former senior figure at technology pioneer IBM as chief executive as it pushes the button on further expansion.

Melinda Matthews Clarkson, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, will spearhead the growth of CodeClan’s operations beyond the Central Belt and build upon its partnerships with corporate Scotland.

Originally from the US, Matthews Clarkson has lived in Scotland for the past ten years and was until recently vice president of commerce partnerships at IBM.

She is said to have been “deeply involved” in bringing a range of new product offerings in cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS), e-commerce and digital marketing to the marketplace. She takes over the reins from acting chief executive Adam Bannon.

CodeClan recently revealed plans for major expansion in 2018 as it celebrates its second anniversary. The venture started out in Edinburgh and aims to double its course numbers in Glasgow in the year ahead, while 200 CodeClan graduates have secured tech-related jobs.

The social enterprise is looking to help reduce the digital skills gap and expects to grow its intake in Glasgow, having launched in the city earlier this year, from three cohorts to six, with a further nine starting in Edinburgh.

Consequently it will produce 200 job-ready people in the Scottish capital and 120 in Glasgow next year.

CodeClan is backed by the Scottish Government, ScotlandIS and Skills Development Scotland. It is seen as a key element in the Government’s Digital Strategy for Scotland, which aims to create the conditions for digital technologies industries to thrive.

Matthews Clarkson said: “There is a real buzz about the technology sector in Scotland and we need to fuel it by getting more and more talented digital professionals into the marketplace.

“With more than 90 per cent of our graduates finding work within five months, there are very compelling reasons for people to get involved.

“CodeClan has ambitious plans for growth – we’ll be expanding our course numbers in 2018, giving more people a career pathway into the thriving digital economy. We’re also looking at delivering our courses beyond the Central Belt, making access easier for people in other parts of the country. This will be backed by more partnerships with business.”

Polly Purvis, chair of CodeClan and head of ScotlandIS, said: “I’m delighted Melinda is joining CodeClan to lead its energetic team through the next stage of growth.

“Having someone with a background spanning both sides of the Atlantic will provide us with a unique insight into the way technology and its teaching is evolving. This will keep our courses current and give our students an education that is unmatched in terms of relevance and value.”