Everyone knows that Leeds Beckett offers extra-curricular activities.

But did you know that they also offer FREE short courses as well?

From October to December I participated in an 8-week girls-only coding course. This course was designed by a company called Code First Girls and it ran every Monday evening at our Headingley campus.

I didn't know what to expect when I arrived on the first night, but I know that I wasn't expecting to be taught by 2nd and 3rd year computer science students from our university. I was dumfounded. I thought, ‘How can a student teach another student a brand new skill in only 8 weeks?’

During the introductory session I discovered that the entire class had barely any experience with coding. We were introduced to software that we had never heard of before, like Atom and HTML. Then our teachers told us, ‘At the end of the 8 weeks you will be able to create a working website from scratch, by only using code’. The entire class was baffled, we had just spent the past hour trying to access shared folders on One Drive without much success. We thought that there was no hope for us. We have never seen a code in our life and they expected us to create our own website? Impossible!

As each week went by, we were introduced to new software and skills; how to make tables, insert pictures, change fonts, as well as how to make a page interactive. At the end of every session we began to feel more confident in our abilities to code. Of course there were a few moments when I wanted to throw my computer out of the window because my code wasn’t working for some reason. Luckily for me, our teachers were really helpful and understanding, they would quickly solve the problem (it was normally a missing semi-colon or a spelling error).

Looking back on the past 8 weeks, I'm glad that our teachers were students because they could understand and relate to us. Thinking about it, a couple of years ago they would have been in the same place as us, which was quite reassuring and exciting to think that our knowledge could advance so much in just a year or two.

As the weeks went by our websites began to look better and better until finally we deemed them ready. On the 8th week we presented our websites to the class to compare our work and no two websites where the same. It was amazing what we managed to achieve in such a short period of time.

Overall, I loved the experience and have definitely learnt something new. This short course enhances my CV by showing that I’m more tech savvy than some others. Over the past 8 weeks I've made loads of new friends too, and I can't wait to go onto the intermediate course.

If you want to find out more about Code First: codefirstgirls.org.uk

More from the blog

All blogs