Edinburgh tech school welcomes record number of students

A tech academy that teaches digital skills to underrepresented groups has marked its second anniversary in Edinburgh with a record cohort of students.

From left: Codebar student Pim Sritawan, programme lead Tony Goncalves and mentor Kate Preston. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Codebar, which launched in the Scottish capital two years ago, currently has 287 students and 142 coaches.

The initiative enables women, LGBTQ students and other underrepresented groups in the tech industry to learn to code for free in a safe, friendly environment.

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Codebar was established in London in 2013 and has since grown to include 23 active chapters.

Antonio Goncalves, a programme lead at Codebar who also works at digital skills academy CodeClan in Edinburgh, said: “We’ve seen incredible uptake in attendance over the past two years, and we’d like to see that continue. In particular, we’re keen to reach more people from the underrepresented and marginalised communities we’re here to support and will be focusing on that.”

Kate Preston, who has been a mentor at Codebar since becoming an engineer at software development studio Cultivate, said: "Codebar's focus on ensuring that people who are traditionally underrepresented in tech is what initially inspired me to become a mentor.

"It has been a great way for me to support people who are excited to learn about programming in developing the skills they need to move into the tech industry. That it has also helped me to improve as a mentor and a communicator, skills that I can take back to my job as an engineer at Cultivate, is an added bonus."