What is CodeUp?

Set up by Claire Wicher in early 2015, CodeUp is the adult version of Code Club. Initially running out of borrowed office space in central Manchester, the aim was to provide free and friendly adult coding tuition to anyone who wanted it. Since then it has grown and evolved into a network of spaces from Preston to Stoke-on-Trent, Chester to Leeds, where complete beginners and accomplished software engineers (and everyone in between) can come together and share their enjoyment of coding.

Three years on, the Manchester branch regularly sees between 40-100 people attend each month, some of whom have gone from beginner to professional developer in that time. We also have a team of dedicated mentors who attend almost every month, all of whom specialise in several languages and technologies.

Where do I go?

We currently run the event in the offices of Code Computerlove, a fantastic digital agency set right in the heart of the Northern Quarter. The event runs after normal working hours so we have to use the trade entrance, but directions and entry instructions can be found here.

What happens?

We usually start the session with the usual pointers about health and safety and facilities, followed by a quick introduction of the mentors, a summary of specific problems/questions and a list of any talks or workshops planned for that night. Those people who want to do their own thing can find a seat and get going.

We encourage people to share and explain their work to anyone interested, so if you see something interesting on someone's screen, go up and ask them about it. Similarly, expect a tap on the shoulder if you're working on something exciting.

Are there any rules?

CodeUp sessions are inclusive, friendly and provide safe environments, and all organisers and mentors are asked to comply with the CodeUp Code of Conduct (CoC) when they apply to help out. As such, we expect attendees to show the same level of respect for other people.

Please also note that whilst recruitment consultants are welcome to attend to learn more about programming and code in general, those who actively target people at CodeUp in an attempt to recruit them will be politely asked not to and, if they persist, will be asked to leave.

In general, we just ask that you're respectful, look after the location and be mindful of other people and their property.

How do I get involved?

All you have to do is turn up. People typically start arriving at 6:45pm and most people are in by 7pm, but if you can't quite make those then just turn up a bit later.

We would recommend that you bring a laptop, a notepad and a pen, but the rest is up to you. Let us know you're coming by RSVPing to the event on our Meetup page or join our Slack workspace and chat to people there. Feel free to ask questions and share ideas for things to do.

Can I be a mentor?

Definitely! If you're interested in helping out just send the host (usually Drew) a message on Meetup and let them know a bit about you. We like to know:

  • your name
  • your background
  • your daily occupation or experience level
  • whether or not you've been to CodeUp before
  • any previous mentoring experience
  • why you want to mentor
  • when you'd like to start
As mentioned above, we'll ask you to send us an email saying you accept and will comply with the CodeUp Code of Conduct (CoC). There's no specific job as a mentor and we don't expect you to attend every single session.

At the start of the event there's often a quick matching-up of people who are looking for help with a particular language or problem, so you can offer help then or you can just wander round and see who needs a hand. If you want to do something bigger, like set up a project/workshop or do a talk, then just let us know beforehand and we'll help you arrange it.

If you've been a few times and feel like you're becoming part of the furniture, you can submit a picture of yourself and a bit of blurb for the people page. The best way to do it is through GitHub; just branch off from master on the web site repository, add yourself to the people page and put in a pull request. ;)