Teaching prisoners how to code

This means he can spend the day working at Yoomee rather than in the prison.How does Code4000 work in prison?The first phase is a training phase, teaching the prisoners the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript, before moving onto more advanced concepts like Git, TDD, MVC, databases and full stack development using Ruby on Rails.Prisoners aren’t allowed direct access to the internet, so they start with exercises downloaded from Code.org before moving onto building simple starter games like Pong, Breakout and Asteroids.After that, they learn the basics of web development: how to code in both HTML (which covers the layout and structure of web pages) and CSS (which covers the style and design of web pages).Once they’re ready, the students will enter the second stage: putting their skills to work on real projects for external clients.The third stage will involve temporary day releases for prisoners so they can go to work with clients independently..The fourth and final step will be to help them find full-time employment as developers in time for their release..And it’s these last two stage that Yoomee has been helping with.Introducing JoshJosh learnt Ruby on Rails whilst attending the Code4000 workshop in HMP Humber and his skills are already impressive..He’s now working on real-world projects whilst at Yoomee..Projects include a software upgrade for Off-Axis and an AI-powered chatbot for a local mental health charity Sheffield Flourish.“Coding is about problem-solving..Being a prisoner requires ingenious thinking to make the most of limited resources..Prisoners are adept at problem-solving and bring that into the coding world.”The time needed to support Josh has decreased significantly since he started in the Yoomee office, and he’s now much more able to support himself using online resources such as Stack Overflow.Yoomee is also very grateful for local tech volunteers such as freelance developer Ryan Brooks..Volunteers like Ryan are essential to help to speed up the onboarding process by committing regular time each week — mentoring and providing advice and insights on career development.Next stepsThe plan is to significantly expand the programme with Code4000 in Sheffield and so Yoomee is looking for volunteers to help mentor the new coders..So, if you also believe that an understanding of code unlocks a life of opportunities and has the power to transform lives please do get in touch with us.In the meantime, you can find out more by watching Michael’s talk at TEDx Stockholm last month (below).. More details

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