Blog - GoCode Academy

November 12, 2016
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There are a lot of words that you have probably heard floating around: computing, coding, programming etc, but what exactly do they mean and why is it necessary and important for your child to learn it before they turn 21.

Definition

The process of writing computer programs to create and design websites, apps, games, robots and much more.

Writing out a language that a computer can understand and process to create a desired result is a key skill that every employer in every industry values in today’s world. It gives a child plenty of options and flexibility when deciding a career path. For example, if your family travels to France, you will try your best to speak basic French, not English, to a native speaker to communicate your desired action if you want to be understood and helped.

 

The ability to speak a different language makes a person more interesting and open to different cultures and globalisation overall. Globalisation in business is not only growing across borders but across cyber-space (an environment where computer networks connect and communicate). Employers truly value a person who can

 

not only use a phone/computer but also create something as well. Different languages are spoken in different lands: Scratch – create animation and games, Python – high-level general purpose language, and JavaScript – creates interactive effects within web browsers.

Two thirds of parents had no idea what an algorithm was ahead of the new curriculum launch in September 2014. Many parents were not informed or well-prepared for the change and how to support their kids (Telegraph, 2014). A shocking figure when it is compared to the 8 million kids who are interested in learning computing! This negatively affects one large industry, the digital technology industry. It is growing at a phenomenal rate, 32% faster than the economy which created 1.56 million jobs and contributed £161 billion to economy in 2016. That means that businesses have their doors wide open waiting to meet graduate students with warm open arms.

Every child, including yours, deserves the opportunity to learn a computing language that sets them apart in the world in not only in their professional careers but also personal lives. Naturally, not every child will become the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg but they will become their greatest selves. Schools can only do so much especially with the new curriculum in place. It is a parent’s mission to take the reins from the school and steer your child in the best direction that shines the brightest light on their future.

Learning to program, code or compute comes with extra free skills such as problem-solving, communication, listening, team-work, confidence and much more. It also introduces a different way to thinking and interpreting problems and creating solutions. It also connects to other subjects such as Maths, Science, Engineering and Technology.These soft skills are transferrable into different fields and last for a lifetime.

Imagine, your child will be able to design and create games, wearable tech etc… all the gadgets that Carphone Warehouse has in its stores (miniature models, of course). Learning alongside your child or driving them to after-school classes is the best way to support them. Insight into how stuff work stretches the child’s imagination beyond the stars. Who knows, your child might be the first man to live on Mars like the movie, The Martian.

 


October 29, 2016

Finance technology firm White Clarke Group and GoCode Academy have partnered together to offer fully funded scholarships to students from low income backgrounds in Milton Keynes starting in September 2017. They share a mission to see children from low income background be given the same opportunities as other young people to embrace computer programming and develop the tech community in Milton Keynes.

The digital tech industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK according to Tech City’s Tech Nation 2017 Report which places the UK as the digital capital of Europe. Investment reached £6.8 billion in 2016 creating 1.56 million jobs. However, there is still a huge gap that needs to be filled. By 2020, the UK economy is predicted to lose £63 billion in income from 1,000,000 digital job gap.

This great mission to fill the digital skills gap has inspired White Clarke Group and GoCode Academy to establish the scholarship.White Clarke Group, founded and based in Milton Keynes, is a world leading provider of finance software to businesses across the world. Their vision to become a global leader in finance technology and desire to innovate and work with talented people is the driving force behind this initiative to support students who dream in a bright colours about a tech-powered future but have no way of achieving it. By partnering with a coding academy, they will be able to provide quality training and equipment. In the future, students will benefit from work experience roles and job opportunities.

GoCode Academy is a computer training school that offers high quality learning experience to children aged 8 – 18 years old. They will get the opportunity to develop their coding skills for a bright future, develop logical and computational skills, create new innovative tools, and more importantly have fun! They will learn how to build websites, simple applications, create games and animations. The After School club creates a stimulating environment where students can learn Scratch, Python and Robotics. Students become part of a supportive community that drives innovation.

“A young person’s success should not be limited by their background. We would like to help stop inequality in education and give children the opportunity to succeed no matter what their circumstances are as we believe this will help remedy the growing digital skills gap”, said Brendan Gleeson, Group CEO at White Clarke Group. The funded scholarship will be awarded to 8 outstanding young people who are keen to learn and support their own future, community and the future of technology.

Recipients of the scholarship will also get the wonderful opportunity to work with White Clarke Group in the future. They provide all their employees with the opportunity to obtain professional qualifications and training that will help them both on a personal and professional development level.It is a rare opportunity for any child to have two strong companies nurture and develop prospective tech leaders-of-the-future. The deadline for applications is September 2017. For more details on how to apply for the White Clarke Group scholarship at GoCode Academy, please visit www.info.gocode.academy/scholarship


October 24, 2016
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Buying laptops today is no easy task, with seemingly infinite choices from brands, big numbers which don’t seem to impact a difference. When buying laptops today there are so many things to consider, which is why we’ve compiled this for you recommending our top 5 laptops available in increasing price ranges for your benefit. So, for business or personal use, take a look at this list to get the most bang for your buck.

1. HP Stream – 11-y010nr

HP here have taken their usual route of naming their laptops weird numbers instead of a real name. Never the less, their 11″ HP Stream offers an excellent small office PC perfect for travel and day-to-day use. The laptop

offers 802.11 Wi-Fi, so your connection to the web will be stronger than ever, handy as this laptop only has 32GB local storage so you’re going to be using

a lot of cloud-computing. Though local storage is expandable thanks to the SD card slot, and USB 2.0. And if you’re ready to take the leap, the Stream

has a Gen 1 USB-C port for some super-speedy file transfer rates. Thanks to the low-power Intel Celeron processor, your battery life will usually hit around 10 hours, handy for long journeys away from power supplies. The

same processor is excellent for web-browsing, word-processing and general

office programs; perfect as a year’s subscription to Office 365 comes free.

Lacking any ways to expand local storage? Not to worry as you also get a free 25GB of storage courtesy of Dropbox, and a Terabyte of cloud storage from Microsoft’s OneDrive, working seamlessly with the pre-installed Windows 10 Home included with the £199.99 price-tag. We recommend this one for the on-the-go Office user, and homework completer. Looking for something with a bit more oomph for programming or gaming? Then we’ve got more for you below.

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2. Lenovo Ideapad 110(15″)

 

Lenovo comes in here with this larger 15″ laptop complete with number pad keyboard and 1366×768 HD screen -though not outstanding, it gets the job done. The Pentium N3710 is more suited towards the programmer, being able to handle compiling and some heavier IDEs like Eclipse. Joined by the 802.11 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 for your favourite headsets, though not to worry about storage this time round thanks to the one terabyte hard drive – you’ll never have to worry about the cloud again. With Ethernet, USB 3 and HDMI, this laptop is perfect for creating a desktop-like setup which can be quickly ported around, aided by the small 2.2KG weight of the device, and task through the day, though the Pentium’s integrated graphics might just let you get away with some light gaming.

Simple, good-looking, and affordable at just £299.

 

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3. Lenovo G50-80

Lenovo strikes back with this i3 upgrade. Coming in at the same size as their Ideapad, the G50-80 pushes more performance with the i3 5005U clocked at 2GHz. More power suits the more heavy-duty office user and programmers, looking to speed up their day-to-day computing. Paired with an additional 8GB of RAM this time round, the G50 will keep all your entertainment, web-browsers and office programs running without fault. With Windows 10, Bluetooth 4, USB 3, a card reader and DVD drive your I/O is

anything but limited, again perfect for a desktop setup and an on-the-go workstation. Though battery life does suffer thanks to the increased performance, and for £349.99 I’d expect at least a 1080p panel, but the 1366×768 is good enough if you’re not worried about getting stunning visuals from your laptop.

 

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4. Lenovo V110

 

Hitting the higher price brackets now, Lenovo comes in yet again with their V110. This matte-finish laptop is “thin, light and reliable” weighing under 2.1KG, for all you manic movers who need a powerful machine. The lay-flat hinge paired with an anti-glare panel is excellent for use in all light conditions, striking the attention of worked who are frequently travelling, or school-users between classrooms. However, Lenovo falls victim to the 1366×768 panel yet again, and in this bracket higher resolution should be expected. Although the i5 6200U at 2.3GHz will blaze through office and day-to-day tasks, some more heavy gaming, and super-fast code development, IDE handling, and compilation. Although this comes at sacrifice to memory, dropping back to just 4GB of RAM, albeit faster DDR4 memory. We also lose some storage space with only a 500GB Hard Drive over the Terabyte on the previous Lenovo laptops. At £499.99, more could be expected – but with the power of that i5 & anti-glare screen, there’s little to complain about.

 

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5. Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming

Finally, our ‘top-tier budget’ laptop goes to the new Inspiron 15. With a beautiful black & red colour scheme and triangular vent patterns, this one definitely appeals to the user looking to stand out. The seventh-generation i5 7300HQ is outstanding for just about everything, be it office-use, programming, or heavy-load gaming especially when partnered with the full GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU; allowing for some additional high-end GPU acceleration in day-to-day us away from gaming. The 8GB of DDR4 RAM also holds high with multi-tasking; partnered with the super-speedy 256GB SSD. You can expect stunning visuals with the 1920×1080 IPS anti-glare display, the only device on the list to feature a full-HD display. For £899.99, I’d recommend Dell’s latest award-winner to just about everyone.

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If you have any questions about laptops, feel free to drop us a line or ask us on live chat on our website.

While you are there check our After School Coding Clubs and holiday Tech Camps.

Good Luck!