Derby Telegraph — My view

Code Club teaches children aged 9 to 11 how to code computers. There is a waiting list of youngsters wanting to join but more volunteers are needed to pass on their programming skills.

IN every industry, it is vital businesses pass their knowledge on to the next generation.

Failure to do so could result in that industry failing.

That is why I’m surprised at the severe lack of volunteers coming forward to support a project I’m involved in.

The project is called Code Club. It is a voluntary initiative aimed at teaching children aged 9 to 11 how to code computers.

It involves volunteer programmers and software developers giving their time to run courses, passing on their programming skills and mentoring the young pupils.

It has enabled children to create their own computer games and robots and learn how to use technology creatively.

As someone who is fuelled by a passion for getting kids off the streets and equipping them with the invaluable skills needed for a career in IT, I decided to set up free Saturday morning sessions for children at Derby Central Library.

The classes have proven to be so successful that there is now a waiting list to attend.

The hour-long free sessions take place between 10.30am and 11.30am and teach children fundamental programming elements.

Each week, the pupils are set the task of creating a game, animation, or puzzle, that is then built using a piece of software known as Scratch.

Indeed, when I first heard about Code Club, I instantly wanted to be involved.

My father taught me how to programme when I was just five years old, and I now run a very successful ecommerce and software development business in Derby.

Without that early tuition, I may not be where I am today.

Computer programming skills are becoming more and more prevalent in the industry and I believe that it is vital to pass this knowledge on.

At the ages of 9 to 11, children are impressionable and it is important to get them doing something productive.

All this is why I’m surprised that there is a severe lack of volunteers coming forward to support this initiative. Volunteers are only required to give up one hour a week and it is an extremely rewarding experience.

At iBox Security, we firmly believe in giving something back to the community, and that is why I have also just signed up to mentor a GCSE student for a year.

It’s time that other businesses did the same.

The road to recovery and triathlons

Last year was a difficult year as my own health caused some concerns and although not life threatening, it was a case of having to take several weeks off of work particularly off the road of which I tend to do 1,000+ miles a week visiting customers all around the UK.

Not only time off work but time off from physical exercise in my case running, second only to my love for business. Due to health issues in 2014 and the need for multiple operations this caused such a set back in my physical fitness, that I had to cancel the triathlon I had intended on competing in.

Roll on to February 3rd 2015 – at the Derby University Kedleston campus, one of Derbys best small businesses HUUB Design made a great unveiling that July 12th the Jenson Button Triathlon will be coming to Derby. Couple that with having the all clear a week previous from the Drs this means a triathlon could once again be on the agenda for this year!

Now as many already know I’ve already signed up to trek up Ben Nevis on the 19th June. This biggest mountain in the British Isles – a suggest goal of £400 was set by the Alzheimers Society of which with little convincing and so far not having blasted the link out to folk – that goal has been passed and the next goal being £1,000 is well under way.

So the madness continues, after hearing the inspirational speech from HUUB MD Dean Jackson I immediately signed up to compete. This time in aid of Cancer Research (just giving page to come soon!), both causes having been a part of not only my life but many around me.

So this starts a very difficult road back to fitness, what would once be an easy run through the countryside, now is a tough challenge to hit a mile or so. Having gone through operations and 9 months of no exercise its starting a fresh but with two very ambitious goals to hit in the next few months.

Its often said that business is comparable to that of a marathon, well in this case with our business focusing on three core areas: softwareecommerce and security its easy to make comparisons to a triathlon – finding your strongest point, applying those techniques and training to other aspects of business.

Computer security is in our DNA, it forms a part of everything we build, web and software to most efficient, profitable, secure and productive to the client.

Any one else competing in this triathlon I’d love to hear from you!