QA and Code First Girls pilot new Software Development Academy

The 12-week intensive academy aims to empower young women to start their career in tech and will teach the skills needed to be a software engineer.

QA and not-for-profit social enterprise Code First Girls have joined forces to pilot a new training and employment programme designed to equip young women with industry-recognised training and certifications to go on to be successful software developers. At the end of the programme delegates will secure a job as a software development consultant.

The first QA/Code First Girls Academy sets out to directly tackle the diversity issues seen in technology departments across the UK. A long-term aim of the project is to increase the number of women working in tech roles.

This initial pilot started earlier this month with all classroom sessions being delivered by QA trainers virtually over Microsoft Teams. The programme was initially due to be delivered out of QA’s new training centre in Salford Quays but restrictions (put in place as a result of Covid-19) meant it had to be delivered virtually. However, this did not delay the start of the programme, which started as planned in early June.  

Eleven women, all with a shared passion for technology, and from a diverse range of backgrounds – from stay-at-home mums to recent graduates – have joined the free, 12-week programme. Over the course of the next 3 months they will cover a broad range of deeply technical subjects including API development, secure coding and programming languages and systems such as Java, Scala, Python, C# and JavaScipt.  

The programme will culminate in a virtual graduation ceremony in early September with everyone that completes securing a full-time development-consulting role with QA.

On the partnership, Anna Brailsford, CEO at Code First Girls, said:

“This programme has helped women reskill and gain employment in a period of unprecedented economic uncertainty. The tech sector has a well-publicised diversity problem – more than ever before, we need proactive initiatives to help talented women break into the industry. We are excited to see how this partnership evolves to give women greater opportunity.”

Paul Geddes, CEO, QA, said:

“Given that only 19% of tech roles in the UK are held by women it is important to us to continue to create meaningful opportunities and empower women to become leaders in the tech sector. That is why this is an important partnership with Code First Girls.”
“Together we are looking to diversify the sector at the same time as bridging the technology skills gap. I am confident that this programme will be the first of many.”

To find out more about Code First Girls, please visit the Code First Girls website.

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