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CodeGrades: Hello, World (again)


Everyone can code!

The COVID outbreak has disrupted our world in lots of different ways.

For CodeGrades, it meant our face-to-face work with young coders, in London,
had to stop.

We had been meeting since the Autumn of 2019 to prepare both young coders and
their ever enthusiastic parents for our initial syllabus of Python grades.
Improvised venues included
the Barbican, co-working spaces, the
Tate Modern
and the
Royal Society of Arts. It was engaging, friendly and
the candidates (no matter their age or level of experience) were a credit to

They had been building all sorts: from games, to websites to mobile apps. It’s
such a shame we couldn’t complete the courses of study and have folks actually
present their projects for grading.

We learned a huge amount from this remarkable group of young people and their
parents. Because of their feedback, the syllabus was subsequently refined,
various tools were updated (the Mu editor, and
PyperCard) and we all naively
looked forward to the soon-to-be-imminent easing of lock-down here in the UK.

Yet that didn’t happen, and two year’s later, the world has changed.

Instead CodeGrades has taken a different direction, and reviving this blog is
evidence of this journey.

To cut a long story short,

  • Lock-down afforded us the opportunity to connect with many folks in the wider
    Python community, all over the world, who were interested in our crazy
    experiment in coding education.
  • They called our bluff about making the work we’d been doing accessible. So we
    put our code where our mouth is, and have a completely new
    web based version of CodeGrades.
  • The assessment process has changed, but we believe it is actually better as
    a result of this adjustment.
  • The new website is completely redesigned, rewritten and feature complete. It
    is currently undergoing technical alpha testing with trusted invited friends
    of the project, and we expect an open beta to be released later this summer.

It was always our intention for CodeGrades to be accessible to anyone, anywhere
there’s an internet connection, and lock-down forced our hand. Every cloud has
a silver lining.

Finally, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

For instance, here’s a sneak-peek of the rough-cut of our “elevator pitch”
video (still in development):

Now that various pieces in a very complicated jigsaw puzzle are starting to
fit together, expect much more regular updates via this blog, and our
Twitter account.

See you soon. 🙂

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