Coding and celebrations for 20 young Londoners

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First of all: What is Digital Pipeline LDN, you ask? It's our 3-month free coding night school. Watch this short film to see what's all about:


And then, last night, we celebrated the end of the course! It brought together 20 diverse young Londoners who were unemployed or underemployed to learn front end web development code from General Assembly, and combine it with the creative design skills from D&AD needed to fill the skills gaps and develop a career in the ever-changing technology industry.


Read on for all the details - and watch our short Digital Pipeline LDN film!

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The group showcased their work in conjunction with D&AD’s New Blood Shift programme, showcasing not only their creative flair but also the problem-solving and perseverance needed to build a working prototype from an idea. Next, they’ll be looking for roles in the sector with the support of Create Jobs, with 12 out of the 20 already having got full-time roles in places like The Garden Museum, Worldwide FM, and creative agency Iris.

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Every Tuesday and Thursday night for 12 weeks, our coders spent their evenings - often after a long day at work - ploughing through the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript. The sessions from General Assembly were fast-paced and interactive, and our group were put through their paces learning everything from the fundamentals of 3D design to the techy jargon that sometimes puts people off from trying to learn an essential skill for the future workforce.


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In London, there are now 1.6 million digital tech jobs, and this number is growing twice as fast as in the non-digital sector. These jobs need people with the right mixture of technical ability and empathy, creativity and collaborative skills which aren’t always nurtured through formal education. The only way to make sure we are utilising the huge pool of talent in London is to make sure these skills are developed in a diverse range of people, and that the sector is open and accessible to all.


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What’s next is up to them, but we are looking forward to seeing how they can use their creative problem solving and technical skills to fix the problems of the future.


Helen and Malik, two of the Digital Pipeline LDN 2 participants, gave their thoughts on the programme during the speeches:

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"You taught us so much and showed us how welcoming the tech industry is", says Helen. "A massive thank you to GA, you taught us so much and showed us how welcoming the tech industry is - for people who literally know nothing to be able to share their knowledge. As well as General Assembly I’d like to thank Hilary who ran several days for us teaching us about the world outside of just coding, so everything from user design, user development to really being able to understand what coding on a computer means for the person who’s receiving that, and that was quite life-changing for me the idea of UX and UI."

Malik adds, "The fact that we pulled together and stuck through it, that’s what stuck with me. We all have definitely struggled but we’d meet up in our own time to help each other go through homework and that’s what helped us through. And that kind of says a lot about the coding world as well, it’s very collaborative, we didn’t realise that. The culture at General Assembly was very much you walk in and everyone is open, willing to help, and that rubbed off on us."

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Words by Ayumi Konno

Photos by Zbigniew Kotkiewicz