Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Codewars Turns Teens towards Careers in Tech; TECH

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Codewars Turns Teens towards Careers in Tech; TECH

Article excerpt


ATOTAL of 75 students from 12 schools from across the region met at Hewlett Packard Enterprise's North Shields site to battle it out in a coding competition designed to boost their IT skills and inspire them to consider careers in technology.

Competing in 28 teams, the young people, in years nine to 13, were presented with a set of 23 increasingly difficult problems, which they were challenged to solve using their coding knowledge.

After several hours of intense concentration, St Mary's School in Newcastle was crowned the CodeWars 2016 winner, with Heaton Manor in second place and TyneMet College in third.

An additional award was also created for Biddick Academy in Sunderland, which was praised for its innovative solution to a challenge that involved rendering a shape on the screen.

Originally launched 16 years ago in HP's Houston Campus, CodeWars has been a hit in the US, where it has grown significantly.

In the past few years, the initiative has been held across the globe, with locations including Taiwan and India.

In 2015, then, it came to Europe for the first time, when the Cobalt Business Park site launched its inaugural competition.

On Saturday, as the North East students competed, similar events were held in seven other locations, including the US and Barcelona.

Lindsay Phillips, Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Newcastle Delivery Centre director, said: "Everything went really well. The buzz in our offices on Saturday morning was amazing.

"We managed to create a really positive, powerful atmosphere and it was hugely inspiring to see my staff and the teachers from each of the schools come in to support the event."

Mr Phillips added that, while there was still some way to go, school curriculums now offered students an introduction to coding.

CodeWars, however, was about encouraging the young people to think on their feet, applying theoretical knowledge to real life scenarios, some of which may have applicability within the business world. …

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