Hi, my name is Jordan Hatch, I'm seventeen, and last week I joined the development team working on the gov.uk beta. It's great to be working with so many talented developers on such an innovative project.
Lately, there's been a lot of discussion around teaching kids to code from an early age. At secondary school, I was first inspired to start coding from the small programming club there, and when I was in Year 10 and 11, my IT teacher encouraged me to build websites, apps and other programming projects for the school, alongside my studies towards an ECDL.
Back in 2009, I was very fortunate to attend the first Young Rewired State, which really sparked my interest in building projects based around open data. Following on from this, Emma at Rewired State gave me tons more opportunities (including the chance to work with COINS data before its release last June), and the rest is history I guess.
Last month, I took the difficult decision to leave full-time education and dive head-first into freelance web development, and a short time later I was on a train down to a rather-daunting London. In the short while I've been at GDS, I've built out an app to display calendars, such as bank holidays and clock change. Over the course of this fortnight's sprint, I'll be working on enhancements to the publishing workflow, amongst other things.
Working directly alongside editors who are using features you wrote is a really great experience. I especially love the hack day atmosphere of the group show-and-tell presentations at the end of each sprint.
The beta is looking great. It's coming on leaps and bounds each day, and I think everyone will be in for a treat when we hope to launch it early next year.