Sponsored Project: Torbay Tech Jam

We are proud to support a number of open-source and educational projects through offering at least a 50% discount for anyone publishing Free software using our network. This commitment explicitly forms part of our company manifesto.

Alongside sponsorship, we also think it’s very important to help spread the word about the extremely important and interesting work our sponsored organisations undertake.

This is why we will be showcasing as many as we can on this blog over the coming months!

Introducing: Torbay Tech Jam

Torbay Tech Jam started out in 2013 as a result of organisers being regular visitors to the nearby Exeter pi jam.

Since then, the jam has been supported by a hard-core group of regulars who play an active role in creating fun, informal and family-friendly events.

The events are all aimed at inspiring children and young people to take an interest in not just coding, but also related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

The jam is also a children’s university destination, which means organisers can stamp CU passports and give credit to any children/young people who are taking part in the programme.

During a typical jam, attendees have access to raspberry pis, alongside a supply of keyboards, mice and monitors. There is also plenty of space for people to bring along their own equipment, which results in a great mix of interesting hardware, retro hardware or devices such as the micro:bit.

The environment at each event is deliberately kept relaxed and informal, as it is consciously designed to feel less like formal education. Visitors can come along and simply work, or get help with developing their own projects, all at their own pace. Beginners are also encouraged to join in and ask for help on how to get started or how to fix specific problems.

As events are open to all age groups and levels of experience; attendees are encouraged to support and learn from each other in a safe and relaxed environment.

Those with expertise in certain areas are often asked to share their knowledge — a great way of building a sustainable community and allowing people to demonstrate their skills.

In 2016, the Tech Jam started to do some regular presentations and talks on a variety of issues, such as Git, markdown, Manjaro, tmux (terminal multiplexing) and much more.

Initially, there was some concern that such topics might be a bit too technical for beginners. However, as Git is very useful to manage and collaborate on projects, early adoption and familiarity can prove to be an invaluable skill! Especially when attendees develop to the stage where they might want to contribute to Open Source projects.

Starting in May 2017, they have also invited Codeclub to run a information session along side the jam, with the aim of kick starting code clubs in the Torbay area.

Find out more