What do I need from a host?
Space. The requirements are different depending on the city. A workshop can be as small as 5-6 people or as big as 80 - or more if you have enough people helping out! Just make sure that the venue details are configured properly in the application before you send out any invitations.
Desks and chairs. Make sure there are enough tables and chairs for everyone.
WiFi and power. The venue needs to have a fairly good and stable internet connection and enough power sockets for all the student laptops.
If it is possible please ask the host to label one of their toilets as gender neutral. We recommend using this sign.
Students and coaches. We aim to have double the amount of students to coaches, and try to pair up 2 students who are working on the same tutorial with their assigned coach.
Food and drinks. Learning to code after a long day at work can be hard. Offering free food and giving people the opportunity to take a break and have something to eat before getting started makes our events more effective and accessible. You should also ask for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options and also non-alcoholic drinks. The effort is minimal and then everyone can have something to eat. If you are stuck, ask us for suggestions!
Not all companies are able to provide both space and food. If you need help finding a sponsor let us know.
Announcing workshops and sending out invitations
You should aim to list your events at least a week before they take place to give people time to learn about and sign up to the event. Give a longer lead time for new chapters. When creating an event, you should make sure to not set it as
invitable unless registrations are open.
Anyone signed up to codebar will be able to RSVP to the event through the workshop page but only people subscribed to your chapter will receive an email invitation.
A few days out from the event, review the list of students for first-time attendees (anyone with a paw icon next to their name), and look for those with male pronouns or masculine-associated names. See if you can find their social media profile and check whether they meet the eligibility criteria. If you’re not able to find any information to indicate that they do meet the eligibility criteria, click the ‘Eligibility’ button on their profile to send out an automated eligibility check email. If they confirm that they’re eligible, add a note to their profile so that you don’t have to do this again. If they don’t respond by midday on the day of the workshop, it’s up to you whether you have a chat to them at the workshop or just remove them from the list.
Giving people name badges helps out a lot. Remembering new names can be hard, especially for newcomers and this enables the attendees to always know who they are talking to and if they are a student or a coach, to avoid confusion.
If the attendee list is long, you might want to have the labels printed instead. One of our sponsors has been kind enough to provide us with a free professional account at their label providing service and you can use to generate the addressing label template. You can to find the details in our shared password vault.
You will then have to get the list of the event attendees so you can import it and generate the template. You can do that by clicking Export attendees on the workshop’s admin page. The list of attendees can also be retrieved by appending
.csv to any invitation URL.
If you don’t have access to a printer at work, ask your host if they are able to handle printing the badges and supplying the labels. Alternatively, provide blank labels and sharpies so attendees can make their own badges.
You can also use different color stickers for the organisers and anyone helping out so that attendees know who to speak to if they need any help.
At the event
As people arrive at the event check them in through the workshop admin page, and double check what tutorials the students have signed up for so that you can pair them up prior to the event. Also, make sure you give them their name tag. Doing all of this will enable you to track demand and enforce the codebar attendance policy. The coaches will also only start appearing in the coach ranking after their attendance is confirmed.
Make sure the WiFi details are displayed in prominent places.
Depending on the size of the event we tend to spend the first half an hour having food and socialising before we pair people up around 19:00 (if we start at 18:30) and get started with coding. In some of our chapters we also run 5-minute lightning talks before we pair up the students and coaches. You are encouraged to try things out and see how it works better for you. Just remember to keep things running smoothly and allow the students at least 1:30 hour, if not more, of learning.
Double check that the host has labelled one of their toilets as gender neutral. We recommend using this sign.
As you start pairing students and coaches, it is important to let the coach pick what they want to teach as we have coaches of all experience levels attending. We normally do this by saying the name of 2 students doing the same tutorial, then let a coach say they’ll help.
If you have a lot of attendees, then you might need multiple organisers to help sign students in and note their planned topics of study. In these situations, a shared Google Doc can be useful to allow multiple contemporaneous editors. A common method is to list the students who’ve been signed in, in order of how difficult their subject is to find coaches to teach, from most difficult (e.g. advanced Java, PHP, iOS, testing, etc) to easiest (beginner HTML). You can then group students who are working on the same thing, and indicate a group by inserting line-breaks between groups.
After the event
Encourage them to come to any social events following the workshop. Usually people don’t get that much time to interact at the events and this enables them to expand their tech social circle, find out about opportunities and meet like-minded people.
Dealing with problems
Part of your job as organiser is to make sure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. This might occasionally mean that you have to deal with small issues or potentially ban people from attending future codebar events.
If someone comes to you with a complaint, act on it promptly. If attendees are involved, speak to them in a private area where you cannot be overheard, or send them an email after the event. When passing on negative feedback about a coach, you may need to ask the student’s permission first, as this information can be identifying.
For difficult eligibility conversations, it often helps to remind people that our coaches, organisers and hosts donate their time and money to help those who have faced unfair barriers to entry into the tech world.
If you feel that you are unable to deal with this, you are more than welcome to send an email to [email protected] and we will do our best to help you out or deal with any issues.