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Civil Service develops learning tool for coding


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A group of volunteers from across central government have developed a prototype learning and development tool for coding.

Named Learn to code, it is aimed at novice coders in the Civil Service to give them a better understanding of how its digital products and services work.

A blogpost by Chris Dennett, digital strategy lead at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says it is not aimed at turning them into developers, but to equip them to work in multidisciplinary teams and to bring policy and digital teams closer together.

It is currently in open beta after being used by a small group of digital, data and technology fast streamers for the past six months. A new cohort of fast streamers is now providing feedback.

The tool involves six modules and goes beyond existing online tutorials on coding to take in factors relevant to the development of digital services in government. These include parts of the Government Service Standard, the technology section of the Service Manual and how the GOV.UK prototyping kit works.

“It’s not just about code, it’s about how code is used to build digital services in government,” Dennett says.

Open source approach

The project has been run on an open source basis and is hosted on Github, which Dennett says allows the team to make changes more easily and to take in suggestions from others.

Dennett says no decisions have been made on the future of the service, but that the team is looking how to get future development funded and to get the service onto GOV.UK.

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