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The session, Back to School - Bringing Coding Back to Schools, will examine why students appear to be losing interest in computer science

- Tom Gray, CTO, will draw on Kainos’s numerous Digital Academy talent development schemes and discuss the importance of bringing coding back to schools -

London, December 2nd, 2013 – Digital solutions company Kainos has announced that its CTO, Tom Gray, has been confirmed as a speaker at the prestigious SXSWedu 2014 education conference in Austin, Texas next March. Speakers are voted on to the panels by attendees – education professionals, industry leaders and policy practitioners from around the world, who are passionate about the future of teaching and learning.

Kainos’s session will focus on the importance of fostering future generations of IT talent. Tom Gray will draw on the company’s extensive experience of running innovative schemes to identify and develop talent among young people, including ‘A’ Level and university students.

The session, Back to School - Bringing Coding Back to Schools, will examine why students appear to be losing interest in computer science and software engineering degrees at university. “We believe that this is not related to ability,” Tom comments. “Rather it is a consequence of the removal of programming content from schools in favour of a very high level ‘ICT’ syllabus which emphasises use of ICT as opposed to software development.”

Kainos decided to address this problem in Northern Ireland, through the development of a ‘Digital Academy’. As part of this it has created a series of exciting initiatives to bring coding education to young people. These have included ‘hackathons’, summer camps, innovative work placements and competitions for young people, as well as inspirational talks for parents, teachers and the Government.

Drawing on the successful outcomes of these programmes, Tom Gray will use the international platform of the SXSWedu 2014 event to explore how the next generation of programming talent might be inspired and nurtured. SXSWedu is short for ‘South by Southwest Education’. The annual event takes the form of a conference and festival. This will run over four days from March 3–6, in Austin, Texas.

The SXSWedu itinerary is largely determined by the greater education community. Session submissions are proposed online, then voted for by potential attendees. Input from the SXSWedu Advisory Board also helps guide the decisions about which speakers to include. The 2014 event attracted more than 700 session proposals and over 30,000 public votes.

“We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to share our experiences, successes and concerns around the nurturing of future digital skills,” said Tom Gray of Kainos’s acceptance as a speaker. “This is an important and high-profile global event, attended by education’s most energetic and innovative leaders from all backgrounds of the learning landscape. It is a chance for everyone involved to connect, collaborate, create and change how we teach and learn, and we are excited to have a chance to play a part in that.”

Kainos has won a series of awards for its efforts in inspiring and fostering emerging IT talent, and for being a digital leader. Most recently the company was named third, behind Google and Mozilla, in the Digital Leaders 50 list voted for by UK public sector organisations. Kainos has also been repeatedly recognised as a sought-after employer.

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About Kainos

Kainos is a respected leader in digital technology solutions, particularly in the public sector, healthcare and financial services sectors. The company, which attributes its success to the calibre and creativity of its people, is a passionate believer in developing the next generation of digital talent and has invested heavily in its own Digital Academy. This is a programme of innovative schemes designed to identify and nurture upcoming technology talent.

The popular Kainos App Camp and Code Camp events, designed to give students the knowledge and tools to create innovative apps for mobile devices, have produced outstanding results year after year. Kainos ‘Hackathon’ projects, meanwhile, have delivered ground-breaking software prototypes for the healthcare industry. And in Poland Kainos has set up a Test Academy to promote excellence in automated software testing. Other pioneering schemes aim to encourage a greater interest in technology among both sexes: here Kainos is working with organisations such as the Girl Guides as well as schools to inspire more girls to consider a career in IT.

Press Contact:

Carina Birt
PR for Kainos
carina@sarumpr.com
+ 44 1722 322916

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