THE FINAL cohort of Professional Software Development students affected by the sudden closure of digital skills academy, CodeClan, officially graduated last Friday December 1st in Edinburgh.
Students were joined by instructors, support staff, friends, and family on the day to toast the accomplishment of completing the course.
Darren Lackie, student representative for the cohort, said: “It was an emotional ceremony that really felt like the end of an era. There was a great deal of emphasis on gratitude to people across the tech community who made it possible, from the instructors who stayed on, the students themselves who persevered, and the likes of FanDuel, who provided a home for lessons to continue.”
CodeBase, the tech ecosystem support organisation, acquired CodeClan’s assets in August following the company’s liquidation, and has since been focussed on supporting the affected students and instructors, coordinating spaces, teaching, and guidance so that impacted courses could be brought to completion.
This support has been made possible thanks to the collective efforts of the broader tech community, including financial support from The Scottish Government.
Graduates will continue to receive career guidance and support for a number of months as they seek work placements, led by CodeBase and with the help from across the Scottish tech ecosystem. A number of graduates have already secured employment, and CodeBase is actively engaged with multiple organisations across Scotland to support this process.
Yasmin Sulaiman, VP of Partnerships at CodeBase said: “Collectively, we are so thankful for the widespread support across Scotland, without which we wouldn’t be celebrating these graduations. This has been an immensely challenging and uncertain time for students, instructors, and affected staff. If there is a call for action, it is for as many organisations as possible to consider employing these talented and resilient individuals.”
As part of the bootcamp course, students undertook projects to showcase their learning and identify real world applications. One such project is Binday.info, a calendar application which gives users reminders for curbside packaging, glass, garden, food and landfill bin pickup dates across Edinburgh. The project was created by a group of CodeClan students (David Bujok, George Tegos, Lewis Ferguson) and their instructor (Pawel Orzechowski). The app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
As the final cohort concludes, CodeBase is looking ahead to rebuilding a sustainable mechanism that serves the strategic tech talent pipeline needs outlined in the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER), authored by Mark Logan in 2020.
Mark Logan, chief entrepreneurial adviser to the Scottish Government, stated at the time of liquidation that the strategic requirement for Scotland to operate a credible and sustainable tech talent channel has not gone away. Commenting on the graduations, Logan said:
“I’m delighted that all students affected by the closure of CodeClan have been able to fully complete their training courses. That this has been possible is a testament to how Scotland’s business community, in partnership with the government, came together to support affected students. The next priority is the launch of a new CodeClan. CodeClan 2.0 is being shaped in partnership with industry to be fully relevant to today’s business environment, it is being designed from the ground-up to be highly scalable, able to meet the needs of prospective students across Scotland, and with a hardened, robust business model. I look forward to its launch in early 2024.”
As part of CodeBase’s commitment to reestablishing this vital channel, a consultation period for the community to share their views on how best to meet the needs of the ecosystem has been established. An open survey has been launched for interested parties to share their feedback, insights from which will help inform the next iteration of digital skills provision. The results of the consultation period and next steps are expected to be announced early next year.