Chippy turned coder wins national competition

Posted: 17/11/2015

National Coding Week A Jersey resident has won a UK national competition to find the person whose career-change story best demonstrates how learning c...

National Coding Week
A Jersey resident has won a UK national competition to find the person whose career-change story best demonstrates how learning code can change lives for the better.

Joel Brennan’s story of how he changed career path after 15 years working as a carpenter, won over the National Coding Week competition judges. They were looking for someone who had changed career by learning to code, illustrating the extent of opportunities that learning coding skills can bring.


The win was announced as part of a technology conference ‘Future of Web Apps’ in London, which Mr Brennan was invited to attend as part of his prize, courtesy of event organisers Future Insights. He also received a ZTE Blade S6 phone courtesy of National Coding Week sponsor JT.


Asked how coding has changed his life, Joel said: “After spending 15 years as a Carpenter I wanted a change of career.  I wasn't sure how I could move forward.  I was able to display my passion and show the things I had been trying to learn about, and was fortunate enough to get a place on a short coding course.  At 37 I am now working full time as a Junior Web Developer and delighted to be doing a job that I thoroughly enjoy.  The professional digital community have been very supportive and helpful.  I think if you are passionate about the subject and willing to learn new things it's never too late."


Richard Rolfe, co-founder of National Coding Week, said: “I’m delighted we have found the winner of this competition in Jersey where the concept of National Coding Week was born and where a successful digital industry is emerging. We ran the competition this year to identify a person who represents exactly what National Coding Week is all about to use their story to further inspire others. I’m delighted to say that this prize will enable Joel to further expand his knowledge of the digital sector and we hope gives him additional encouragement.”


Tamara O’Brien, Head of Marketing and Brand at JT, said: “It is a pleasure to support National Coding Week which spreads the message across the country about the advantages that can be gained by people of all ages through learning new digital skills. It’s fantastic to hear stories like Joel’s; and to see his endeavor recognised at this national level is really good news and means that the talent and skills on offer right here in the Channel Islands are gaining further recognition and that’s something we can all be proud of.”


National Coding Week 2015 involved a number of events across the UK and Channel Islands, including training workshops and mentoring opportunities organised at Digital Jersey’s Hub in St Helier. As sponsor, JT also took the opportunity to host a free workshop for its business customers to get a taste for essential coding with both Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love, co-founders of Codex.


The key aims of National Coding Week were to encourage adults of any age to learn an element of computer coding, to encourage digital experts to share their skills, and to collaborate, share, learn and have fun. A recent survey conducted by National Coding Week revealed that 52% of adults in the UK said they would feel ‘extremely or very daunted’ at the prospect of learning to code, while 41.3% believed that the older they are, the harder it is to pick up a skill like coding. To see how National Coding Week has evolved and the extent of its reach please click here: National Coding Week and see attached the official National Coding Week infographic.

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