Please note that this episode was pre-recorded in early February, and since then Code Camp has started offering online classes.
We first met Hayley Markham at a Women in Tech event at Canva HQ, where Hayley was a guest speaker on the panel. We were struck, not only by the story of Code Camp - an innovative camp teaching kids between the ages of 5 and 13 the fundamentals of coding - but by the funny, laid back, and honest way Hayley spoke and engaged with her audience. We just knew she had to join us on The Pay Off!
During this episode, Hayley chats with us about the importance and impact of coding on young, malleable, and in particular female, minds. She also took time to share how she balances her busy life and the demands of juggling multiple roles at a growing start-up with having fun.
The idea for Code Camp came about almost accidentally after Hayley and her co-founders -Ben Levi and Pete Neill -got together to teach a small group of girls how to code. They realised that the kids were passionate about coding, and understood that they could have a real impact on the way kids learn and problem-solve. Things evolved quickly from there.
Uniquely, the Code Camp team developed their own custom made learning platform, with a user experience designed specifically for kids. During the camp, kids learn how to create their own characters and worlds. Creativity and problem solving are the key components to coding, according to Hayley.
Parents sometimes resist the idea of coding because they don't want their kids too involved in computer games. Hayley expressed the fact that coding a game is completely different to playing one; building and designing something helps to develop skills in children from a very young age, while still providing an element of fun.
Hayley is extremely passionate about inspiring girls, in particular, to start coding. Currently, about 40% of attendees at the camp are girls. The message that girls can code, just as well as boys, is getting out there - and with around 70% of the teachers at Code Camp being female, the team is setting a great example for young campers.
To check out Code Camp just go to codecamp.com.au. To hear more from Hayley about teaching kids to code and how she attributes her success to showing up to work as her real self, check out the latest episode of The Pay Off Podcast.