Welcome to the Ocado Technology Webinars, where you can hear from the people building the ground-breaking, game-changing technology that powers Ocado, the world’s largest online-only grocery retailer.
In this webinar Celine Boudier, Code for Life team leader, talks about how a group of volunteers at Ocado Technology are creating an educational platform to inspire the next generation of technologists.
0:15: Code for Life is an initiative aiming to address the challenges faced by educators teaching computing in primary schools
1:12: The project is mostly volunteer-based but also includes a robust full-time team made up of software interns and a UX expert from Ocado Technology
1:34: Understanding the fundamentals of programming is a life skill for many children growing up in an increasingly online world
3:30: Code for Life has been designed to help teachers help students interested in computing
6:13: How Rapid Router helps children migrate progressively from Blockly to Python
6:44: Alongside the actual game, teachers have access to a portal where they can create virtual classrooms and register new students
7:05: The design of the Code for Life portal and Rapid Router game is based on different teacher personas created after extensive user research and interviews
9:30: Code for Life also focuses on bridging the gap between gaining basic computing skills and being competent at programming
10:25: The next big educational game from Code for Life will target secondary schools and will teach the basics of AI and Python
11:12: The Code for Life team is also working on creating a mobile app version of Rapid Router using C# and the Unity game engine, and translating the games into other languages
12:24: An overview of the technology stack currently in use for Rapid Router and future games
14:00: Ways to learn more and contribute to the project, including our GitHub profiles for Code for Life, Rapid Router and our upcoming AI game, social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) and translation website.
You can keep up to date with the webinars by subscribing to our YouTube channel. This article provides clickable links that take you directly to the highlighted part of the video clip.
Celine Boudier March 22nd, 2017
Posted In: Blog
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
Ocado has employed the services of Santa and the world’s most famous red-nosed reindeer to help students improve their coding skills.
Used by over 1,400 schools and more than 70,000 individual users, Rapid Router is a free, open source game developed by Ocado Technology and ICT teachers that helps Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) pupils understand programming basics and introduces them to the Python programming language.
A massive snowstorm has just fallen over the Rapid Router world. Everything is now covered in snowflakes and the ponds are frozen, but Santa is determined as ever to navigate his sled on the windy roads of Rapid Router.
But with Christmas fast approaching, lots of new orders have arrived and the sled is overwhelmed. It’s up to you to save the day and guide Santa and Rudolph to their many destinations using Blockly and Python.
The Santa-powered Rapid Router is available for free now. Have fun!
Rapid Router is developed by Code for Life, an initiative started by Ocado to get every child interested in coding. As the world’s largest online-only supermarket, Ocado understands the importance of cultivating the next generation of computer scientists. Just as we have used technology to revolutionise the way people buy groceries, Code for Life will help equip students with the skills needed to revolutionise the industries of tomorrow.
If you’re a teacher, make sure you register on our website now for free access to complete teaching materials, lesson plans and more. Also follow us on Twitter (@CodeForLifeUK) and like us on Facebook (Code for Life) for the latest news and announcements from the Code for Life team!
If you’re developer looking to contribute, check out our Code for Life GitHub portal and Rapid Router GitHub page where you can find more resources and the full source code for Rapid Router, respectively.
Celine Boudier, Code For Life Team Leader
Celine Boudier December 14th, 2016
Posted In: Blog
To continue my look at C# 6.0 I was going to talk about inline variable declaration – a feature I hope we will see in a future version of the language but which has been cut after having made it into the technical preview. Instead, I’ll quickly talk about a feature that is relatively small but provides a little bit more than just syntactic sugar: the nameof expression.
In cases where you wanted to talk about a code element in string form (for example, printing the variable name when throwing an ArgumentNullException, or obtaining a member through reflection) you previously had two choices:
1) Use a string literal and risk refactoring breaking things – at best leaving misleading information, at worst leading to runtime oddities.
2) Use expression tree conversions – difficult to read and not an intended use, so it’s possible that you could get different results between different language versions or compilers/runtimes.
The nameof expression solves these problems by providing a clear, refactorable means of obtaining a string representation of a code element.
For example, checking a parameter is not null:
if (x != null) throw new ArgumentNullException(“x”);
Becomes (now refactoring safe):
if (x != null) throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(x));
The nameof expression also handles chains of code elements, giving the name of the last element:
Console.Write(nameof(myArray.Length)) // Prints “Length”
So, as I said, a small feature, but one that provides a solution where there wasn’t previously a truly good one.
David Symmonds March 10th, 2015
Posted In: Blog