Interview: Carnegie Mellon Professor Ari Lightman On How Students Are Empowered By Learning To Use Brandwatch Consumer Research
By Kara FinnertyJun 10
Brandwatchers are go-getters.
From teaching karate to fun runs, Brandwatch staff take part in a host of activities which help their communities, and it’s something we’re proud to be able to support.
We recently attended the launch of the Tech4Good awards and all the tales of how tech is being used to help others inspired us.
Ben Hackett from our SDR team in the UK was compelled to find out more about an initiative called Code Club, after meeting a senior member of staff at the ceremony. That was Parker Crockford, who we also coincidentally collaborated with at the art-meets-data hackathon event, the Digital Sizzle.
Code Club is a nationwide network of volunteers who run after-school classes for children in primary education.
The kids are taught how to program by coders and create computer games, animations and a selection of other fun applications.
Each term the children will progress and learn new skills, which will be useful if they decide to take up a career in the tech industry or simply to improve their problem solving skills.
Knowing this would be the perfect opportunity for our experienced team of coders, Ben set about finding recruits.
However, to his surprise, our ingenious tech team had beaten him to it!
Much to Ben’s surprise and delight, we already had two coders running an after school club in the location of Brandwatch’s UK headquarters, Brighton. Alastair Lockie and Alena Ruprecht had been teaching 9-11 year olds how to code for the past two years!
In this time they’ve seen plenty of girls and boys blossom as they explore the world of programming.
“We have come so far that we just set a problem to solve (a game to make, a music machine, a monster etc…) and then they have to sit down and come up with a design.
They then start making it in Scratch, a visual development tool.
Projects usually take from one week to three weeks, depending on the complexity, but the kids always come up with really great ideas!”
The experience has also benefited Brandwatchers as they become infected with the children’s enthusiasm.
Alena gushed: “I love to interact with the kids and see how the logic of code clicks when they get it. It’s a really rewarding experience.”
Alastair also shares Alena’s passion for the club he said, “I’d highly recommend any programmers to get involved; you will be amazed at the children’s ideas, you will cement your own understanding as you explain concepts you took for granted, and you might just help a few kids find their lifelong passion”.
With the benefits clear to see, we want to support Code Club in their expansion across the globe.
With offices in the US and Germany (just like us) we would love to see our coders and other tech companies reaching out to their own communities.
You don’t need to be a super advanced coder to take part!
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