Being a Generation Code Young Champion


My name is Harry. I’m a Generation Code Champion and a member of UK Youth Voice from Newcastle Upon Tyne. I also won Young Champion of the Year at this year’s Generation Code Awards!

Generation Code is a programme run by UK Youth in partnership with Microsoft. It provides coding opportunities to young people which inspire us to create and explore the digital world. It’s also led by young Code Champions – like myself!

I got involved with the programme because coding was something I was interested in when I was younger. But despite these interests, I never had the opportunity to try it out at school.

I decided to learn it and since understanding more about coding, I’m now in love with the creativity and problem-solving it provides. From this experience, I know I want a career in coding.

What do I do on Generation Code?

As part of Generation Code, I have been helping deliver sessions to young people using the BBC micro:bit  Most young people seem to find this massively engaging. They are able to physically see the result of the program they’re writing. There’s also a huge amount you can do with the BBC micro:bits!

It’s fantastic to see so many girls engaging with the programme, because currently as it stands 92.9% of programmers in a survey this year were male – that means not even 1/10 people in the in the industry are female!  I hope within a few years this all changes and it becomes much more of a level playing field for some girls.

I valued leading sessions and being able to give people the opportunity to try something different – especially in areas where the technological support available to them is limited. Also, I loved seeing young people working together to solve problems and have ideas I would never have thought of.

Why should young people code?

Technology is growing more and more. It’s vital for young people to have some experience with the science behind the devices they use daily. We need to empower them with the tools and knowledge to thrive in today’s digital world. They should be able to do this, no matter what background or facilities have been made available to them.

Both teaching and learning programming are very challenging things at times. Seeing coding for the first time can look quite intimidating, especially to a young person. It’s important to start small and build up. I’d encourage any new coders not to be discouraged if what you’ve built doesn’t look like one of the largest digital platforms.

I’ve learnt that patience is definitely key! But if you’re willing to stick with it and not give up, it won’t be long before you get that moment when everything “clicks”.

Ways to find out more

  • Explore our Generation Code programme here
  • Find out all about NE Youth where Harry is a champion on their website.
  • Learn all about the BBC micro:bit Harry uses to code here
  • Find out about Microsoft’s Digital Skills here

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