Teaching

UTC Reading

Enrolling in the UTC Reading Pipeline Programme

We've joined forces with UTC Reading to deliver a Pipeline Programme for 10 college students over a year period.


Why

Our first day of the Pipeline Programme was to sum it in one word exhilarating. 10 students at the college had chosen to spend the day with us over larger organisations such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Fujitsu, NTT Security and John Lewis 😲.

Our reason for enrolling in the programme is to mainly break the barriers of entry into learning about product development. The irony is there are no barriers, when you aren't exposed to working within the tech industry there's stigma of you needing to start working for a large organisation, build up the years and eventually you'll be ready to start your entrepreneurial journey. However, this just isn't true.

The majority of our team started building products when they were in their teens, whether it was to launch a website for a gaming league, or to raise their profile to be the next up and coming Croydon DJ. We want to encourage this spirit for others.

Day One

We went into the first day not knowing students experience and technical abilities so we thought it'd be best to throw them into the deep end and give them a grilling on all areas of the tech world. Discussions consisted of:

- The difference between a good app and a good product.
- Product architecture and what the moving parts are in a product.
- Startups and the different stages of investment.
- The concept of bootstrapping.
- Why startups fail.
- Deep dive into API's and what they are used for.
- Mobile app architecture and technologies.
- Why is UI and UX so important.
- Marketing including SEO, ASO and push notifications.
- Disecting how popular apps like HQ Trivia, Instagram and Telegram work.
- Talking about the industry and what to expect as an entry-level developer.
- Discussing opinions on University and Apprenticeships.

We ended the session by discussing what Day 2 should look like. As the students were keen on getting involved in coding we decided on creating an app, however we needed an idea to work from. One of the students had a suggestion that started growing in popularity the more we talked about it. So, the app will show you whether famous rappers are still alive or not, along with content about the rapper 🎤. We all got excited about it. Don't judge.

Day 2 to be continued

In preparation for Day 2 in December, we'll be creating a simple backend and API that will deliver the content that's needed for the app to perform. We'll then create a template Android application for the students to work from and we'll provide a number of tasks for them to perform throughout the day. Such as implementing search, parsing data from the API and making major UI improvements. From popular opinion we'll be creating the app for Android devices, using Kotlin.

We're super excited for the next round of the Pipeline Programme and can't wait to see how far we can get the app. Maybe we can make it production ready by the end of the 4 day programme?

We'll keep you updated...


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