We’re off to Leeds again (literally)

Leeds Signpost

Its Leeds Digital Festival 2020

Leeds Digital Festival Logo

We’re back! Join us from the 21st of September for two weeks of world-class events celebrating all things digital. We have a record-breaking 294 events so there’s something for everyone. See you there! We’ve put links to the events on our events page but they seem to cover everything Cyber, Careers, Podcasts, Design, Content, AI, Cloud Vue.js, Apps, UX, Social Media, Data, Ethics, Data Science, Safety, Agile .. blah blah blah – theres absolutely everything – even a tiny bit of engineering!

Manic Monday

Manic Monday

Catch up chat – whats on, careers suport and whatever you want to make of it really – join us here whenever you have a break in your busy schedule

CodeHub Mentoring group kicks off on tuesday as a reminder for those of you that are signed up!. Check out the codehub Slack for details. We’re tempted to call it

Workshop Wednesday

This will be a quiet one – but just to give you all a heads up we have talks coming up on AI and Ethics, testing, containers and lots more..

PyLAB logo
Practising is cool

This week will be a discussion piece on setting up the New Python learning group – the details are on their webpage here.

WebDev 101 will be back at the following meetup and is being reorganised so it may be a drop in to discuss web development problems as well as looking at the latest, greatest web development going on in the industry. Bear with us while we set that one up.

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Money Money Money

Woman with handful of money

Sorry – couldn’t resist the link …

But its actually not an ABBA revival (much as we would love one) but actually about a LOT of funding opportunities coming through – so first off:

The Digital Innovation Fund is now live: UWE Bristol announces a second round for its £1m Covid-19 Recovery Fund

Following on from a successful first round, UWE Bristol has launched the second round of funding for its Digital Innovation Fund, a £1m Covid-19 recovery fund open to SMEs in the West of England. 

The programme is supporting Research and Development projects in a range of industries and will be creating more innovation opportunities with this second round.  The scheme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), offers eligible businesses innovation grants from £10,000 to £40,000 to fund 35% of project costs.

Grants are open to businesses in any sector that want to innovate and address new challenges that have arisen from Covid-19. Applicants must be small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and based in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire. Deadlines for applications: 10 November 2020. Apply now:  www.digitalinnovationfund.co.uk 

And some more funding from Rosa

Covid-19: Current Funding Opportunities

Existing inequalities mean that coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on women – especially women who experience discriminations that intersect race, gender, class, ability, and migration status. We know this means women’s organisations in the UK are under enormous pressure to support their communities, while also dealing with their own internal challenges.

Manic Mondays

Manic Monday

Back every Monday (except holidays) we will have a zoom catch up – if any members want to meet up with one another to call in from a local cafe/bar then we think that will be a nice way to start small gatherings. We have a general intro – then run through some of the upcoming events and conferences that we think may be of interest to the group. Followed by anyone wanting to mention their projects or things of note and a general catch up. If anyone wants to have a further chat then we will put together a couple of breakout rooms where we can have one to ones while the main group can carry on the social if they like. Join us on our meetup page here.

Each for Equal in Systems Engineering

We’re speaking at this one on friday so thought its worth a mention and would love to get more men involved in the converstation to help them make informed decisions when gender comes up in the conversation.

Our first equality and diversity event, that was planned for March this year to celebrate International Women’s Day, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to go ahead and host it as a virtual event this autumn, bringing it to an even wider audience across the country. The theme of the event (and the 2020 IWD campaign), #EachForEqual, is adopted for both female and male systems engineers in mind and we’re planning to explore steps we can take to create a culture of equality in which everyone can advance and thrive.

From the business perspective, equality can be a great performance accelerator as a more inclusive and diverse range of participants is likely to achieve higher levels of innovation, and greater levels of risk reduction in projects and programmes through greater diversity of thinking and experiences.

Inspirational speakers will share their experiences

Expect a lively and interactive virtual event with inspirational speakers, panel discussions with live Q&A, great insights and the opportunity to network with other fellow professionals across different sectors. You will also have the opportunity to stay online for some informal, post-event networking.

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Back to School/work/learning?


We’re back with some new offerings so check out everything thats on this week and moving forward. Looking forward to catching up with you all!

Manic Mondays

Manic Monday

Is kicking off this week – every Monday we will have a zoom catch up – if any members want to meet up with one another to call in from a local cafe/bar then we think that will be a nice way to start small gatherings. The purpose is to replace the Free Three Fridays and fit it to work better with the new virtual norm. We will replicate the ’round table’ from F3F with an intro to everyone on the call and letting everyone know what they do and/or are looking to work in. Then we will run through some of teh upcoming events and conferences that we think may be of interest to the group. Followed by anyone wanting to mention their projects or things of note and a general catch up. If anyone wants to have a further chat then we will put together a couple of breakout rooms where we can have one to ones while the main group can carry on the social if they like.

Join up on our meetup page here.

Workshop Wednesday

Workshop Wednesdays

Currently, this is mainly supporting the python beginners as the Bristol Data Science and Machine learning group are taking a break while they consider the best format moving forward. We are still waiting to hear from Donna on the software testing and Rob on the WebDev101.

For Python Beginners: We will be finishing off lesson 6 next Wednesday and then there is just a very short lesson 7 to go;  the end is in sight so keep up the good work!

We’ll be online for the full schedule so happy to have a catch up with anyone wanting to do a talk etc – signup here.

CodeHub Mentoring Scheme last call…

If you would like to participate, please complete the on-line forms by Monday, 7th September.

What is the purpose of the scheme? The scheme enables a person with less experience in a given field (mentee) to ‘tap into’ a helpful voice, so that their ambitions can be realised with more direction and more quickly than otherwise. At the same time, the mentor also gains from the experience as it provides a perfect environment to develop and practise listening and coaching skills – an opportunity that does not always exist in the workplace.

Those who are interested in participating, either as mentors or as mentees, fill out the relevant application form (links above) by Monday, 7th September.

  • 22 Sept: Kick-off meeting – previously this was in person, but we are expecting that it will take place remotely this year. The meeting is an opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves and ask questions. We ask everyone to attend this meeting if at all possible
  • 22-30 Sept: We (ie CodeHub organisers) pair up the mentors and mentees, based on the information in the application forms. For example, for those looking for technical support we will pair them up with someone with experience in that topic. We will also take into account any stated constraints on availability from either party.
  • 30 Sept: Mentors and mentees are notified of their pairings and invited to liaise with each other to arrange the first meeting.
  • Start Oct: First one-to-one meetings are held: this is a key meeting as it sets the scene for the rest of the mentorship period and should result in a defined set of goals as well as agreement on how you will operate, eg frequency & timing of meetings, methods of communication etc. You will be provided with further guidance on the topics to cover during the meeting nearer the time.
  • Oct – Feb: A regular cadence of meetings – typically 1-2 hours every 2 weeks, but it can be whatever suits individual circumstances. Normally, the scheme runs for around 3 months and can run into 2021 if that works for both parties – particularly if you take a decent break over Xmas. Feb: Feedback so we can take on board your comments and make adjustments for future sessions. Draft guidelines for those participating can be found here: mentoring_guidelines

If you have any questions, please contact mentoring@codehub.org.uk or via the CodeHub #mentoring Slack channel (https://codehubbs.slack.com)

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Is your CV making it through the system?

Woman rejecting resumes

We often support our members by taking an independent look at their CV’s and giving them honest feedback on what we would and wouldn’t include. Often this is done as a peer to peer support as many of our members have been interviewers in the past so are relatively experienced in the role.

It’s interesting to see the differences in the CVs that come through – the engineering style is much more pointed and factual and the more creative ones are .. well more creative looking. The issue is that we know that no matter what font or how much time you have spent on your CV, really it’s mainly about the content. The reason being the pesky things called ATS Applicant Tracking System, which essentially read in your CV, strip it out, and put it into a database. That’s right, all your wonderful work and preferred font reduced to Times new roman inside a database, depressing isn’t it!?

However, if you were a company trying to read through 100 CV’s, some which appear to include candidates’ life stories, then you would most likely automate it too. Here’s a piece that Sara price (Thanks Sara) just shared from Top Resume site and worth a share on this point: ‘resume ATS readability‘.

Workshop Wednesday

The next online Workshop Wednesday will be this Wednesday on the 12th of August and will host three workshops :

  • Workshop #1 Bristol Data Science & Machine Learning : “Self-paced peer-supported study session” You can join up on their direct meetup here
  • Workshop #2 WebDev101 You can join here or via codehub here
  • Workshop #3 Kathryn Armistead running the Pyhton beginners course

*Software testing with Donna will come back in the autumn we believe

If you wish to do a talk then please let us know by email on info@wthub.org. We are happy to host other rooms if you want to discuss projects etc and if you wish to sponsor one the details are on our networking page here.

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Struggling with online learning?

woman frustrated with training

We know that many of you have been taking the time during this pandemic to work on upskilling and Kathryn who runs the Python beginners group posted a link that resonated with her: What beginner’s mind is really like. In response Steve from CodeHub wrote the following which we thought was brilliant advise so we thought it was worth sharing for all of those feeling like you are scaling an impossible task:

  1. You will succeed and so it is worth pushing through. Learning to code is not about innate talent or any guff like that. It does require you to find a new way of thinking about processes, which is quite reductionistic, and if that’s a bit foreign to you at the moment, it will take extra time. But you will get there.
  2. Focussed learning is demanding and stressful and that stress comes in waves unique to you. So don’t worry about the fact that you’re sweating it. Do not compare yourself against other students to see if they too are finding it tough because they are likely to be at different points in the learning cycle. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you’re doing something challenging and give yourself rest periods.
  3. Setbacks are keys to the learning process. When you are blocked, do not worry that it means you are no good at this. Setbacks are a normal and important part of learning, indicating a missing and valuable line of thought. There are two ways to progress through a setback if you’re on your own. You can back off and try ‘circling’ the topic to see if a different approach fills in more information. Or you can try to push through with intensified focus: close off all distractions, grab a coffee, get comfy and re-read every part of the puzzle and force yourself to understand every sentence in its entirety. And also …
  4. Reach out for help from more experienced people, especially when you encounter setbacks. The ideal situation is when someone will set aside an hour or so to work through what you’re finding challenging. Sometimes just putting it into words can be enough. Sometimes you’ll need someone to patiently listen and then show you how to put your thoughts back on the rails.
CodeHub Logo

CodeHub is a great place to get support and they have some brilliant members in there who appear to be simply sat waiting for you to pose them questions – if you haven’t joined up with them yet then go take a look at their slack channels here. We feel like saying that you get 30 days and if you’re not satisfied we’ll give you your money back. The thing is its free and we know that its brilliant so see you all in there…

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