Stories From CodeDay  ·  August 19, 2022

Joseph Attah: Why I Organize CodeDay Kumasi

Joseph Attah, Regional Manager, Ghana

I attended my first CodeDay — the first virtual CodeDay — at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. I had a wonderful experience and it made me realize one thing. At CodeDay, there was freedom to create anything — it didn’t have to be anything of value — and this freedom coupled with the experience of working with peers doing the same made the learning experience fun and exciting. Before CodeDay, coding to me was synonymous with creating something of value, something that might have a positive impact on the world — or change it in some kind of way — and I always felt like I wasn’t smart enough to do all that. 

Realizing that I didn’t have to do all that, that I could just make anything with code and have fun learning and creating was a really cool new idea to me. I thought it would be nice to have a community and event like CodeDay in my city where people came together to help each other learn and make stuff while having fun through the process and so when the opportunity came to host in-person CodeDays, I signed up without hesitation.

At our event (CodeDay Kumasi), we made it a goal to create a casual atmosphere to facilitate easy interaction and sharing of ideas between attendees and staff of the event. Attendees at the event related with each other and the staff as if they were acquaintances before the event which was really great. Also, the opportunity to learn and create stuff in the few hours that the event ran was a really exciting first time experience especially for beginners.

A lot of the participants were used to spending time learning a skill first — which could take week or couple of weeks depending on the skill — then later trying to use the skill to create something, the CodeDay experience is different; in that,  learning the skill and creating stuff with the skill is done simultaneously and iteratively. And the gratification of using a skill you just learnt to make things and see them come alive, motivates beginners to continue to learn after the event. All these made CodeDay Kumasi special and fun for our attendees. Most of them left excited to learn and build more stuff and others asking when the next event would take place. Having people around who were happy to explore and build stuff with our attendees and help them through the problems that they faced along the way made CodeDay different and more beginner friendly than traditional Hackathons.

CodeDay’s approach to introducing students to the amazing world of  tech and coding — through games (which every kid loves by the way) — is the best and really helps since most beginners, especially primary and high school kids feel more comfortable exploring and playing with the skills they are learning, which is what CodeDay is all about — having fun with and through code.

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