SCOTLAND’S first accredited digital skills academy, CodeClan, is marking National Coding Week with special events geared towards giving women a flavour of coding.

The fourth National Coding Week kicks off on Monday and also marks a milestone for CodeClan with its 500th student – Iona Macbeth – graduating.

Macbeth, 27, from Edinburgh, started her journey on CodeClan’s 16-week professional software development course in May.

“I’ve always been interested in finding out how things work,” she said. “In my previous job at a communications agency I found myself using more and more digital tools for work and started getting curious about learning to code.

“I was also working with some technology clients and ended up working on events to promote women getting into tech. At some point I just thought why don’t I do it myself?”

After completing a taster session and further researching the industry Macbeth decided to take the plunge. “I thought I would enjoy the opportunities to be creative and to solve problem,” she said.

“I think these are skills that a lot of women have in spades and the fact that you can code from anywhere, coupled with the opportunity for flexible working, makes it a great career option for women.”

According to CodeClan, “coding is the literacy of today and programming is what will help develop automation and solve problems”.

The organisation is aiming to train 1,000 students by the end of 2020.

It expects 320 people to graduate in 2018.

Melinda Matthews Clarkson, chief executive of CodeClan, said: “It’s been fantastic to witness Iona’s determination these past four months, knowing that she left behind a successful career and allowed us to help her move into the Scottish digital technology industry.

“One in four of our graduates placed in tech roles to date have been female and we know our employer partners want to have more diverse workplaces.

“Our goal is for women to total 40% of our graduating classes by 2020.

“As well as hosting National Coding Week events, we are hosting our Digital Women’s Group this autumn with a stronger focus on understanding and addressing the issues facing women in growing their careers in the digital space.

“Some women are fed up of the nine-to-five grind and want something more challenging,” she added. “They want to be able to carve their own future and know they have job security in years to come.

“As tech is evolving and automation on the rise, it’s said that one in five jobs could be lost to automation by 2030.”

Macbeth urged others to “just give it a go”. She said: “There are a lot of great free resources online to try it out.

“In addition, there are some great meet-ups like Women Who Code which has a really supportive community and you can find out about other people’s experiences in the industry.”

CodeClan was launched in 2015 and is supported by the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and ScotlandIS as part of the government’s Digital Strategy for Scotland.

Find out more about CodeClan’s courses and National Coding Week at Events run from September 17-23.