Ahead of our career panel, we sat down with our 4 panelists from Compare the Market to get to know them a little more.

Sarah Vandervliet — Junior Software Engineer

  1. What did you want to be growing up? I have never only wanted to be one thing. Growing up I had dreams of becoming an actor, a translator, and a social worker. A career in software engineering didn’t even occur to me! But surprisingly, every opportunity I wanted from those roles I have as a software developer. I can perform by presenting the knowledge gained in my work. I can play with the building blocks of…

*** Applications for this scholarship have now closed****

We are extremely excited to announce that Makers are giving 6 of our community members the opportunity to complete their Bootcamp for free. Yes for free!

Makers is a 16 week Bootcamp. In this time, you will learn JavaScript and Ruby to a standard that makes you ready to apply for your first software engineering job. Makers pride themselves in ensuring you will be a language agnostic developer by the end of their course, meaning you’ll have the skills to code in any language.

The initial stage with us will involve a…

Anushka is a Senior Data Scientist at Valtech, a global digital agency focused on business transformation. She started attending codebar as a student in March 2018 before attending a recruitment event which led to her job at Valtech.

You can find Anushka on the internet at:


  1. What did you want to be growing up?

Many things: a doctor, an astronaut (after watching Apollo 13), a nurse, a professional violinist, and finally a scientist.

2) When did your interest in tech start?

Tech has always been of interest to me. My father is an electrical engineer by trade. Growing up…

An abstrscr grsphic featuring the words Year in Review 2020 and the codebar logo
An abstrscr grsphic featuring the words Year in Review 2020 and the codebar logo
codebar’s Year in Review 2020

2020 has been a challenging but ultimately rewarding year for codebar. We have achieved a few milestones this year that we have been working towards for a while, like becoming a registered charity. We also proved to ourselves how resilient we are in the face of immense challenges. But, most importantly we were reminded of the strength of our community who rallied around us in a difficult time.

At the beginning of the pandemic in Europe and North America, as our hosts started canceling in-person workshops, we found ourselves having to rethink how we run our events. In the span…

We are extremely excited to announce codebar Festival, a new 3-day 100% virtual event where each day will have a different focus; coding, career, and wellbeing. And like any festival, there will be lots going on over the 3 days from talks, panels, workshops, interactive sessions, and social lives.

As the vast majority of you, our members, voted they prefer events to take place over the weekend, and this is a 3-day event, we decided to run codebar Festival from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th of March. …

Alex is a Software Engineer at Ravelin, she started attending codebar in May 2018 as a student before completing the Makers Bootcamp. She then started organising the Oxford codebar chapter before moving to London and becoming an organiser for that chapter.

You can find Alex on the internet at:

GitHub | LinkedIn

1) What did you want to be growing up?

I didn’t really know. I’ve struggled to find a career that felt like the right fit and remained interesting.

2) When did your interest in tech start?

I worked in Finance and then in recruitment where everyone always talked…

7 years…WOW! We’re not entirely sure how that happened or where time has gone. On Wednesday 23rd October 2013 we ran our very first codebar workshop in London hosted by the team over at Revoo with 16 people.

This wasn’t from our firstworkshop but it’s one of the earliest pictures we can find. Taken on December 14th 2013.

Things have grown and changed a lot since then, but our mission still remains. Creating a safe environment for minority group members to learn to code.

Since our first workshop, we have started codebar chapters in 35 cities around the world, and helped over 12,100 students learn to code. To celebrate our birthday we’re extremely happy to launch our new stats website…

Chipo is a Technology Graduate at The NET-A-PORTER Group. She started attending codebar in 2018 as a student, and after securing her first developer job came back to codebar as a coach in August.

You can find Chipo on the internet at:

GitHub | Website

  1. What did you want to be growing up?

I was really into media as a child. I pored over magazines, made tons of scrapbooks, recorded my favourite music videos or tv shows, and watched them over and over. I even loved adverts, the Charlie girls were a favourite, haha. …

Rianna is a software engineer at Gousto; the food box delivery service. She started attending codebar as a student in August 2019, before deciding to do the Makers 14 week Bootcamp.

You can find Rianne on the internet at:

Twitter | GitHub | Medium

  1. What did you want to be growing up?

A fashion designer! Unfortunately, when I asked to do that for work experience in year 10, I was gently told that fashion designers don’t really operate out of Eastbourne (the small seaside town that I grew up in), so instead, I went to a law firm and ended…

We won’t mention the big C word in this post, as we’ve heard it enough already but let’s say it’s kept us on our toes here at codebar. Ever since our first workshop venue canceled on us at the beginning of March we’ve had to adapt. We knew that this situation would not be over in a few weeks so we had to do something to ensure we could still help people with their coding journey.

There was one thing that was absolutely certain at the beginning — we would still run workshops for people! We know our students and…


codebar is a non-profit initiative that facilitates the growth of a diverse tech community by running free weekly programming workshops.

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