Lisa Brown | Programmed to help our community
“Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.”
Bosch have countless software engineers working around the world. They work on the software backbone of all Bosch products, and a crucial element of this is coding and programming.
Lisa Brown, a Bosch associate, has inspired a new generation of software enthusiasts through a father and son coding club at Kirkham Prison, and the great work she continues to do with the in her local area. Lisa is a leader, mentor and coach at Coder Dojo, the global network of free, volunteer led programming clubs for 7-17 year olds.
Cheadle Coderdojo group
“I knew instantly that I wanted to get involved. At the time, the school curriculum didn’t have any computer coding so it was great to see the youngsters so excited to learn.”
Whilst still a co- champion of Manchester CoderDojo, in May 2014 Lisa started her own CoderDojo club in Cheadle, just outside Manchester. She did this with a view to creating a smaller community-like group that would encourage some of the shyer children to come along – and happily that has been the case.
Watch what the Cheadle Coderdojo group get up to
In 2018, Lisa’s coding adventure continued, as they began the Code Club in local prisons. Lisa pitched in with some refurbished laptops donated by Bosch UK, and the prison security team helped to make sure the equipment complied with internal policies.
Things took off quickly from there. The Partners of Prisoners (POPS) in HMP Kirkham jumped at the challenge.
POPS provides support to help maintain family ties during an offender’s stay, and the idea at HMP Kirkham was to create a Code Club that young people could attend with their dads. More than 40 families attended the Code Club during the three visiting sessions in the pilot phase of the programme.
There, they could work together to code computer games and animations, strengthening their relationships and building coding skills along the way. One child created a basketball animation, and his dad was amazed at his son’s skills.
Lisa’s support her community at Kirkham prison trial led to the prison holding a coding club being rolled out more frequently, as well as spreading to other prisons in the area.
It’s a hugely rewarding experience seeing something we take for granted, like laptops, making such a difference and educating current and future generations in skills that could set them up for life
When asked how others can get involved in projects such as this, Lisa said “Become a Bosch STEM Ambassador – and join other local activities and clubs who are looking for volunteers!”
Stay tuned for more stories about Bosch associates who are working to help the community through volunteering.