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Hackathon aims to inspire young coders

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Schoolchildren can learn how to get an edge in the fast-paced technology industry at a free event tomorrow.

Jahde Eve, organiser of the Code 441 Hackathon, said youngsters should take a chance on the event — even if they do not think they are academic.

Mr Eve said: “Technology is going to touch every aspect of business within the next 50 years, whether that's tourism, insurance or energy.

“Every company is going to have a need for it, every business and every government.

“I definitely see Bermuda having a stake in that as well, and I want to help foster a growing technology industry here.”

He added that the hackathon, which he will be hosting for the fifth time, had proved popular.

Mr Eve said: “The students love it. We even have stories of parents dropping off students who maybe didn't want to come and they've since become some of the most enthusiastic programmers.

“Especially for students who may not thrive in the traditional academic sense, they seem to gravitate more towards coding because it's a lot more creative and collaborative. It may suit their learning style better.”

Mr Eve, a 28-year-old Bermudian, founded Code 441 in 2013 and his first hackathon attracted 40 schoolchildren.

The capacity this year has increased to 75.

The project now has sponsorship from Hamilton Insurance Group, which has pledged to boost the digital literacy of Bermuda's young people as a philanthropic gesture.

Mr Eve said: “I wanted to make sure it was a sustainable organisation and could touch a wider swath of Bermudian students.”

Mr Eve operates Code 441 from the Bay Area of Northern California, where he works in San Francisco as a software engineer.

Code 441 also runs a mentorship programme and Mr Eve is keen to help young people he has met through the hackathon.

Mr Eve, a former pupil at Port Royal Primary School and Warwick Academy, said that the hackathon aimed to help both public and private-school pupils.

He said: “The initial impetus for creating Code 441 was to give young Bermudians a competitive advantage in the world of technology and business.

“The mission of Code 441 is to provide Bermudian students with these skills and resources so that they can thrive in a world that is increasingly technological and innovative.

“The vision is that we can expose young Bermudians to technology and these creative pursuits a lot earlier and influence how they look at the rest of the world and the rest of their career moving forward.

“As we look into the future with artificial intelligence and computer learning, digital literacy becomes even more important because these innovations are changing how we experience the world on a daily basis.

“We want to equip and empower Bermuda's youth so that they have the skills, resources, and knowledge so that they can work and thrive in this world in a powerful and creative way.”

The hackathon will offer two “tracks”: one for beginners and one for more advanced coders.

Beginner students will be introduced to the basics of JavaScript and Python and learn the “core programming concepts that they can use to build a lot of what they would be doing in the future”.

More advanced coders will build their own applications.

The hackathon will be held at Axa XL on Bermudiana Road in Hamilton. It is open to schoolchildren aged 12 to 17 and will run from 9am to 4.30pm.

Lunch will be served and laptops will be provided for youngsters who do not have their own. To register for the event, visit www.code441.com or www.connectech.com.

Key skills: Jahde Eve directs Sam Bean through a web design tutorial at the Hackathon in 2015 (File photograph)
Great opportunity: there are 75 places on this year's hackathon at Axa XL in Hamilton
Great opportunity: there are 75 places on this year's hackathon at Axa XL in Hamilton

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Published December 20, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated December 20, 2018 at 7:19 am)

Hackathon aims to inspire young coders

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