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Takeaways from the GitHub Satellite Event, Berlin

Code4000 founder Michael Taylor discusses his recent trip to Berlin and what having GitHub as an official sponsor for Code4000 means.

So, Berlin. In the spring sunshine. For a launch event of GitHub's amazing new features at GitHub Satellite, housed at the amazing Kraftwerk - an old powerhouse in the trendy Kreuzberg district of Berlin. It's an easy invite to make space for in the calendar! :)

For those of you who have no idea what GitHub is or does: GitHub is basically a place where you store your software (code, pictures, and documentation) on the internet, and then keep track of all the changes made to that stuff by your developer teams. This means it's a very big player in terms of helping to ensure all the things that use software work as they should (which these days is more or less everything you own!).

The keynote at the launch event itself was given by GitHub CEO Nat Friedman himself, emphasising the importance of this new launch in Europe, which is a new addition to the normal GitHub Universe event back on the other side of the pond. 

The big news at this launch was the reveal of GitHub Sponsors, a means of rewarding contributers to open source software projects that otherwsie might get a lot of coding cred and thanks, but no actual money. This is significant as something like 90% of all software out there relies on an open source project of some kind or other, and it's great to now have a way of saying thanks via their bank balance rather than just a high-five on Twitter.

However for me the highlight of the event was a dial in by Katie Bouman and team (see above), creators of world's first image of a black hole, describing how they crunched petabytes of data to arrive at their (now iconic) picture, which she said was like trying to take a picture of a grain of sand lying in the middle of a football Stadium - from the moon!

It was also refreshing to hear later in the day from a politician that actually understands digital technology - former MEP Marietje Schaake spoke wisely about trying to get the digital and political communities to talk to each other using a common language that both sides can understand, and on trying to bring something like the rule of law to the internet.

All in all the GutHub event was a great space to finally meet one of our newest partners face to face. We are so happy to have such a major player onboard as a sponsor of what we do. But, even more importantly than that, getting their help in providing content for our curriculum will prove invaluable to our future graduates. 

Thanks a millon GitHub!

Michael

 

Code 4000 is exactly the kind of pioneering partnership that we need to encourage. It brings together prisons, businesses and teachers to address the country's demand for digital skills and local regeneration, and giving prisoners relevant employment and a new future.

PAMELA DOW
Chief Reform Officer, Catch 22

To give ex-offenders the confidence and skills they will need to get a job - and critically keep it - we need to engage prisoners in work experience and training in custody which accurately reflects the employment market in the communities they will return to. For the first time Code 4000 gives those in our custody the opportunity to engage in a training programme to become the ‘coders’ of the future.

JASON SWETTENHAM
Head of Public Sector Prison Industries, HMPPS

Having been deeply impressed after visiting The Last Mile prison rehabilitation program at San Quentin Prison in San Francisco in 2013, I was delighted to be introduced to Michael Taylor, who had aspirations to create a similar programme in the UK. Since that time, Michael has shown vision, creativity and tenacity in launching Code4000 at HMP Humber. I hope that he will continue to receive the support from the prison estate to extend this vital initiative across the country.

ANDREW DIXON
CEO, Arc InterCapital

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