Sheffield Ruby User Group: The life changing opportunity to leave prison as a Software Developer

About the talk

The life-changing opportunity to leave prison as a Software Developer

The general consensus is that prison is a bad place full of bad people. The first part of the statement is largely true, the latter somewhat of a misconception.

Prison is a bad place full of deprived people. There are very few opportunities for the average prisoner to turn their life around and a necessity for our prison system and prison education programs to address this problem. Being in desirable employment is all it will take for a large percentage of our 83,000 prisoners to stop reoffending.

This talk is about something which actually has the potential to make a difference to two socio-economic problems in the UK; the rate of reoffending prisoners and the inadequate supply of software developers.

Code 4000 is a prison-based program which equips inmates with the necessary opportunities to be released into quality employment within the tech industry.

About our speaker

Josh Rolland is a former prisoner who while in custody engaged in an initiative which teaches inmates to code; Code 4000.

As a result of his hard work and competence, the scheme was able to look for employment opportunities for Josh ahead of his release. This has led to Josh starting work as a Junior Java Developer at Metro Bank in Central London exactly one week after being released from prison earlier this year.

Because of his back story, he is very aware of the potential for tech talent to be found from all walks of life and with a range of backgrounds. As well as the talent in general which exists within the UK prison system. Josh wants to make people aware of the positive impact of Code 4000 in order to generate new stakeholders and employment opportunities for other ex-prisoners going forward.

As a bonus, we have the opportunity to have Ryan, Josh's mentor/coach, as a guest speaker to share his side of the story, too.

About the talk

Mentoring and coaching, what's in it for me?

Mentoring and coaching techniques help people learn, focus, define and achieve their goals. That's all well and good... but why would you choose to be a mentor?
In this guided discussion we'll talk about the value of mentoring and coaching for the mentor, when to start, opportunities to get involved, and considerations from a contracting & consulting perspective.

About our speaker

Ryan Brooks is a senior technical architect at the Ministry of Justice, but he tends to talk more about people and process than tech. Ryan has been coaching and mentoring in tech for a few years, helping people from underrepresented groups enter tech and further their careers. He has run coaching workshops for developers and helped companies take on a mentoring mentality. He draws diagrams, writes buzzwords, and often raves about cheese. He occasionally tweets as @spikeheap.

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We're a group of people who meet on the second Monday of each month to discuss and learn about Ruby, Rails and other interesting tech/web/programming stuff.
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