Inspired at the Galley Club with Emma Barnes: What happens when the coding kids graduate?





Anyone else fondly remember Acorn BASIC and ASSEMBLY language? 36 years later and we're being told we need to learn how to code.....


I fondly remember as a kid at school being tasked, in pairs, to make up our own board games. With coloured paper, scissors and glue we would devise the rules and plan the course. Nowadays this scene is found with kids at computers, coding their games - let's not allow nostalgia to cloud our view on this as a "shame"; this is highly exciting and we should be celebrating the creativity and innovation in today's younger generations.

Celebration of coding was the theme of last night's Galley Club event. Held at the Water Rats in Kings Cross, the event saw speaker Emma Barnes hold the stage as she discussed 'what happens when the coding kids graduate?'  Emma, founder and CEO award-winning of Bibliocloud, MD of award-winning Snowbooks and terribly funny speaker urged us to learn to code, future proofing our careers.


In 2023, graduates will have been coding since they were 5. Just as you and I can read, write and tell the time, 20-somethings in 7 years' time will be writing JavaScript and Python. What does this mean for us? Firstly, let's not panic, we've been disrupted by technology before and are likely to be again. Secondly, let's learn it ourselves. Emma gave a suggested 6 month plan of how to learn code including a variety of books, social groups and online courses. Thirdly, let's think about our job descriptions. It's realistic to think that technology and people's aptitudes for technology will change quicker than most companies know what to do with jobs to get the most out of tech - don't be left behind, review your people specifications to ensure coding is in there and in the right places.


Coding doesn't need to be a 'them & us' thing. It's not 'process, introvert, techies' vs 'creative, outgoing, publishers'. In fact coding is perfect for editors - you have to make things grammatically perfect in code. If you're not already sold on the idea, Emma gave us some more key benefits of coding: it's a great brain exercise (you can put down those sudukos), it can be done from home offering flexibility, it gives you a job for life and it's creative. On the flip side of all of this, if it isn't a 'them and us' thing, what about them? What will be the future of digital agencies and in house development teams?

Whatever happens, seeing an app, a game or website that you have created with your bare hands and computer toolbox is the modern day carpentry or, in the case of many kids, the modern day arts & crafts box. We've got seven years to get ahead of the game, let's upskill ourselves and be ready with jobs, products and managers that will excite our 2023 graduates.