The Festival of Code (the world’s largest hackathon for young people) opens today at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre
The brightest young whiz-kids from around the world will flock to Birmingham today as the Festival of Code returns to the UK.
The event, which is organised by Young Rewired State, will see a worldwide community of more than 1,000 digital pioneers aged 18 or under collaborate on building apps, websites, games and problem-solving algorithms aimed to helped improve their communities.
Taking place over a week, the youngsters will be able to take to the stage in Birmingham to present their projects to expert judges, mentors and the press at a special showcase weekend on 1 and 2 August.
The festival takes on special resonance, with computer programming having been added to the national curriculum in September 2014, and finishes 10 days before the world’s youth come under the spotlight again on the United Nations’ International Youth Day (12 August).
The inaugral Festival of Code took place in 2009 and involved 50 self-taught coders. Since then, the event has grown in size and scale, with more than 1,200 young people from the UK, US, Germany and Kosovo, as well as 300 expert mentors, coming together last year to take part in events around Britain.
In 2009 there was only a 2 per cent female attendance at the event – last year it was 30 per cent.
The Festival of Code is free to attend and is supported by sponsors from a variety of industries including Google and publishing and education company Pearson.