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Hackathon proves a holiday hit with teens

The Hackathon, Bermuda's home-grown computer coding symposium, has proved a holiday hit in its second year.

Yesterday's free course, from the non-profit group Code 411, took 80 teens on a blast-off introduction to programming, courtesy of self-taught Bermudian coder Jahde Eve.

“I wished I had learnt about coding earlier,” Mr Eve told The Royal Gazette.

“I thought before I got into it that you had to be some kind of mad genius.”

Many of us grow apprehensive over technology, and the world of strings, numbers, booleans and other program building parts that underlie coding, because we have been conditioned to view it as difficult, he said.

“That's a big barrier for young people and adults as well. But learning code is just another skill set, like learning to cook,” he added.

Hosted in the conference rooms of XL Catlin, this year's introduction was fun and more intensive than the inaugural class, youngsters said. Accounts from participants will appear next week in The Royal Gazette.

Mr Eve said he made his way into technology in college, not as a programmer but on the business side in New York City.

With giant new companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb on the rise, “it seemed like the way forward”.

Originally keen to start up his own tech-based company, Mr Eve realised that he needed to know more and started teaching himself how to code.

In the process, he discovered that he wanted to delve into coding full-time.

“It powers every step of our lives — cars, fridges, even stoves,” he said.

With that came the incentive to teach Bermuda's young residents at an early age that career pathways lay at their fingertips beyond the hospitality, insurance or financial services industries.

An enthusiastic turnout of those between the ages of 12 and 17 went home last night furnished with the basics of creating their own games and assembling websites.

• To learn more about coding, visit www.codecademy.com

Skill set: the free course is run by Bermudian coder Jahde Eve (File photograph)

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Published December 24, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm)

Hackathon proves a holiday hit with teens

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