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Institute of Coding talks

The IoC series of talks aim to bring together Computer Science and Software Engineering students and industry practitioners - for the benefit of both. Speakers will mainly be industry practitioners; typically focused on their personal experiences with the aim of increasing the audience's understanding of their industry and its context.

About the Institute of Coding
The Institute of Coding is a government-funded project that aims to develop and deliver innovative, industry-focused digital skills education across the UK. It brings together universities, large corporates, small and medium sized enterprises, established industry groups, experts in the delivery of distance and non-traditional learning and professional bodies. For more information see

21 March 2019

Stuart Green, CEO of ZOO Digital will be talking about ZOO Digital: an 18 year old startup
and Giles Moore, Co Founder, Airstoc and Rekkommend will talk about The Highs and Lows of being an Entrepreneur and Why we still do it

ZOO Digital: an 18 year old startup - ZOO Digital provide technology and services to producers of TV series and feature films to enable their content to be subtitled and dubbed in any language and prepared for sale with all major online platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Google and Hulu. ZOO’s services are powered by its proprietary cloud software which is enabling thousands of translators, voice artists and others located around the world to collaborate efficiently to create global content launches.

The Highs and Lows of being an Entrepreneur - Giles’s first tech venture - going from raising VC money for a start up in Sheffield and being globally recognised to making mistakes and having to close the doors.

and Why we still do it - Taking onboard the learnings from his first venture, to explain what will be different in his next tech venture. Providing insight into the mistakes made and how to avoid these.

Refreshments including pizza will be provided.

Register now

21 February 2019

Student Startups

Zak Ahmed: Director, AALFY
GAP model (Growth, Autonomy, Purpose), Social Enterprises and purpose-led businesses

Zak will share his experience of developing social projects such as:
Learn Create Sell - which enables participants to learn how to take opportunities, make decisions, reflect on setbacks and celebrate successes through a combination of training, product design and trading.
The Makerpreneur Programme - An alternative provision which explores the future world of work for young people at risk of becoming excluded from mainstream education
Ar' City tech festival- A festival based on the playable city concept, Ar' City aims to empower young people (14-30) to re-imagine the city through tech and play.

Dr Sam Chapman: Chief Innovation Officer, Co-Founder and Director, The Floow
Rapid Start-Up Growth

Sam Chapman - from the Floow in Sheffield - will be talking from example about means to enable rapid start-up growth whilst maintaining a focus on innovation and client needs.

7 February 2019

T-Shaped Engineers
Ricky Barefield - Technical Architect - BJSS

Ricky will be giving a presentation on ‘T-Shaped Engineers’ and how coding isn’t the only thing you’re likely to do during a career in Software development. The talk will cover what else we need to consider when we’re coding, other than core functionality, as well as what the rest of a day might have in store.

Having previously studied in the DCS, Ricky is now a Technical Architect and the Server Side Development Capability Lead for BJSS. BJSS is the UK’s largest privately-owned IT and Business Consultancy. As the winner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, they work with the world’s largest organisations, delivering the IT solutions that millions of people use every day.

Ricky’s presentation will also explain a little more about how consultancies fit into the wider industry – and why you might or might not want to work for one.

Opportunities in Sheffield’s Tech Industry
Chris Dymond - Director - Sheffield Digital

Chris is a co-founder and director of Sheffield Digital, the city's association for digital industries and the people who work in them.
Sheffield Digital was founded in 2015 with a mission to connect, promote and represent the local tech industry, which means he is well placed to talk about the wide variety of activity and roles available in Sheffield's rapidly developing digital cluster.

Chris is himself a technology professional, having started out as a software engineer, before becoming a project manager and then delivery and digital innovation executive. Chris now works to develop cities and other places, via his capacity building agency Unfolding and smart society specialists Perform Green. He is also a director of the Sheffield UTC Multi-academy Trust, which runs too local secondary schools that specialise in digital subjects, and is an entrepreneur in residence at Sheffield Hallam University.

6th December 2018

There's a dinosaur in the classroom!
Pete Casson - Chief Technology Officer - Twinkl

Chief Technology Officer Pete Casson will be discussing how Twinkl has developed Augmented Reality technology to help children throughout the world learn in new ways.
Pete will talk through why Twinkl decided to develop AR applications, how they were created and the positive impacts this work has been having on education, in both the classroom and at home.  There will also be a sneak preview of a new AR application, which has been designed to support the teaching of STEM.

Twinkl creates online educational resources that support each stage of a child's learning journey including schemes of work, assessments and online educational games

Get Good with Git - Using Version Control to Deliver Quality Software
Luke Stringer - Head of Development - 3Squared

A look into how 3Squared use version control to enable collaboration, ensure code quality, fix bugs, and ultimately release software

8th November 2018

A day in the life of a Senior Inventor - Innovation at the coal face.
followed by:
A.I over the next 5 years.

John McNamar - senior inventor - IBM

How do we see applications of A.I evolving over the next 5 years and an overview of the technologies are we using to make that happen today (hint: Watson may be involved here)?

Bio: John is a Senior Inventor in the IBM Hursley, and leads the Senior Inventor community in the Hursley Lab. John is also lead technologist in the IBM Hursley Innovation Centre, with a background of international consultancy, helping clients across the globe innovate successfully in industries ranging from Banking and Pharmaceuticals to Defence and Disease Control. Today, John helps IBM Business Partners innovate, utilising technologies such as A.I, IoT, Security and Integration. John also enjoys collaborating with universities on projects utilising A.I to solve societal challenges.

11th October 2018

94 - Now. Sheffield's (near truthful!) Digital Journey

Liz Hnat - Senior Project Manager - Hive IT (Sheffield)

A personal perspective on how the digital scene in Sheffield has changed since 1994. I'll also look at how women have contributed to that scene, rolling right around to where it might be heading in the future. This talk is based on part truths and dodgy geographical mapping skills - but the overall themes should ring true

Digital, Data & Technology for the Environment.

Andrew Newman - Data Policy Manager - DEFRA

At Defra we are creating a great place for living. It is our job to ensure the UK has a strong and healthy environment that has economic value. We use digital, data and technology to make policy and to deliver effective, efficient services to a wide range of users.

In this talk I will provide an overview of some of our services, talk about the role of our digital, data and technology professionals and explain how you can join us on our transformational journey.

14th June 2018

What does DevOps mean?

Glen Mailer - Digital Justice

Coding is only a small part of software engineering, code is only useful when it's running somewhere. I'll look at where coding fits into the the wider context of software delivery, and talk about how many companies approach getting their software running in production. I'll also show you what modern techniques can do to make this whole process a lot more streamlined and effective.

Software development at the speed of AU

Dr Raj Curwen - CTO and Inventor of the AU Computer Language, Aucoda Ltd (Manchester)

Software Development is hard, and producing talented developers is the number one skill that many companies want to foster. Often, the approach is to try and train more and more people, but this can still be ineffective, not least because the number of different technologies being utilised is constantly expanding (and as we said, software development is difficult!). Ultimately, this means that there is a shortage of experienced developers. In response to these problems, we decided to radically change the way we develop software, by inventing a new language: AU.

Today we would like to introduce you to AU, outline our motivations for creating a new language, and showcase some of the ways our developers are already using AU to build software faster, for all platforms at the same time.

Our developers are just like you – maybe now or in the near future – graduates undertaking their first job in the industry. Using AU means they are productive and capable of contributing to large-scale, real-world projects, after just two weeks of training!

10th May 2018

Welcome and Introduction to the IoC

Phil McMinn - University of Sheffield

Transform your destiny and change the world

Dave Cates - Managing Director - Redemption Media Ltd (Sheffield)

Dave Cates is a serial entrepreneur and founder of award winning technology consultancy, Redemption Media. Being able to code gives you an absolutely amazing opportunity to transform your destiny and change the world. From his experience of working for large corporates such as the BBC and BT through to launching multiple tech startups, Dave will demonstrate how, as technology graduates, you hold the most exciting opportunities which have never been seen before - e.g. you can easily create your own business with just a few lines of code while sat in your PJs! But really, where do you want your skills to take you and what kind of legacy do you want to leave for the next generation? What next step will you take to join the global tech adventure?

Life in Test Engineering

Cassy Calvert - Head of Test - BJSS (Leeds)

I’ll be speaking about testing, why we do it, how its done, what type of activities are usually undertaken by test engineers, and some real world examples of where there have been issues because there was no planned testing on the product.