How much I love a good community like codebar

Picture of three girls sitting in a couch with their laptops.

What is codebar?

codebar is free initiative that runs programming workshops to help address tech’s lack of diversity. Its purpose is to create a safe and collaborative space where you can learn programming, meet people and get excited about coding. Local developers attend as coaches so you pair up and work through tutorials together. It has chapters all over the world and in Brighton, the workshop is run every Tuesday evening. Each workshop is sponsored by different companies so you get to see loads of different offices around Brighton and meet interesting people.

Picture of a group of both students and coaches from codebar Brighton. Picture of three girls sitting in a at a table looking at one laptop. Picture of girls sitting in a row, smiling. Picture of 4 girls facing the camera, smiling.

codebar - a love story

I started attending codebar after finishing my web design diploma in 2016. It is scary attending events on your own but I felt welcomed straight away as everyone was really lovely. As I shared my interest of becoming a web developer, I was only encouraged and supported by every one I spoke to.

For a year, I attended almost every Tuesday and was paired up with different coaches every week to work on my skills and build up my portfolio. My confidence grew and when I started feeling ready to apply for jobs, coaches gave me tips, helped me go over my CV and discussed how to build up my portfolio in the best way. I was amazed over the support I was given.

One evening, Gene hosted codebar and I met one of their developers, Chloe. She was my coach for the evening and as I told her I am now looking for a job, she kindly offered to help and we exchanged details. Few weeks later, she was doing a talk at Talent 2017 and I got introduced to Gene's MD. He offered me to come in for an interview.

I didn't have that much in my portfolio by this point, but during my interview I got to express my passion for web development. I got to share a few projects & codepens I had worked on and I spoke about codebar and how excited I am to learn. I ended up getting offered a junior position, starting with Chloe as my mentor.

After starting my job, I wanted to give back to this amazing community. I started coaches new beginners in HTML/CSS and then was asked to help organise the workshops as well. I have now been an organiser since summer 2017 and I wouldn't change a thing. I want every person attending codebar to be as supported and welcomed as I once was.

Some other amazing meetups/groups in Brighton

  • SheSays Brighton - Helps women in tech & design through inspiring events with brilliant speakers.
  • Code Brunch - A programming meet up for women, trans people, non-binary pals and so on
  • 9% Event - A series of structured networking events and inspiring speakers for women in Brighton
  • We Spring Forward - A month-long celebration of the role of women in digital culture and runs throughout March.
  • Make Play Code - A Brighton-based collective of women who are interested in game development at all skill levels.