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Keeping up with the kids: civil servants get coding

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Worried you can’t keep up in a digital world? Intrigued but slightly terrified by talk of conditionals, loops and Java? So were many of us.

But things are beginning to change. The Cabinet Office is starting to code!

Code allows you to be creative with computers and to get the most from technology. It is really simple to learn and (we’re told) anyone can do it. Our new Code Club is run by Anders Fisher (@atleastimtrying) and organised by the Open Policy Making team. We already have 60 members and many more on the waiting list.

We’re learning the basics at the moment – how to do a simple sum; how to turn the text red; or put it in italics. We've used to see how the three coding languages of HTML, CSS and JavaScript combine to produce the familiar text and features we all use every day.

As the weeks progress, we’re looking forward to doing some practical things for ourselves. Coding allows you to build websites and apps, publish books, make games and much more. We can’t wait!

So code club is creating quite a bit of excitement here, and there’s already some pretty ‘healthy’ competition between the six groups (although Anders definitely told us we were the best). Here's just some of what they're saying:

It makes me feel that I can be creative and do things for myself, rather than wait for someone else to do it for me.

I thought it wasn’t for me, but it’s basically just learning a new language. It’s going to take a bit of time, but it’s not rocket science!

I don’t want to be left behind – especially by my five-year-old, who has learnt plenty already from Daisy the Dinosaur.

But of course we're actually pretty late to the party. Make things do stuff is a great project we've been meaning to tell you about. Started by the Partnerships team in the Cabinet Office, it's helping young people become digital creators instead of just digital consumers. Read more here about where it came from and what’s next.

We’d love to hear what you’re all doing too – what you’ve tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t. And any tips on keeping up with those kids.

Tell us what you think in the comments below, on twitter, or on LinkedIn.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Michelle Slee posted on

    In my spare time I'm learning coding - but using this site - Scratch. It's aimed largely at schoolchildren but I suspect I'm not the only adult on there using its very easy intuitive interface to understand the basics! I'm already using variables, conditionals & loops - it's all presented in such a great way you're off & running before you know it. I'm very proud of my maze game!


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