BCSWomen hosts Guinness World Record attempt with marathon app-building event

BCSWomen hosts app-building event to encourage over 1,000 young people to simultaneously build Android apps in a Guinness World Record attempt

BCSWomen – part of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT – hosted an marathon app-building event to teach over 1,000 people to code in a Guinness World Record attempt.

Events took place across 30 different venues in the UK with 65 people attending the "App-a-thon" event at BCS London. Computer Weekly volunteered as a witness to the record attempt. The BCS London gathering was organised and led by Andrea Palmer.

Attendees of the record event took part in a session in which Android apps were built simultaneously across the country. At BCS London an app was created with a meowing cat.

Each of the 30 App-a-thon sessions was led by a woman and supported by volunteers who taught the participants how to build Android apps using the AppInventor from the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The event aimed to break the record – but also to encourage young people, particularly girls, to consider a career in IT.

Supporting women in Stem fields

Gillian Arnold, chair of BCSWomen said: “We are over the moon to have attempted the App-a-thon Guinness World Record. Co-ordinating something like this is no mean feat – it requires months of planning and coordination, which many of us fitted around our day jobs. To have attempted to set a world record is a fantastic achievement that can be attributed to the hard work and determination of our BCSWomen members and all the locations’ volunteers.”

Arnold said it was vital to support girls entering the IT profession: “The lack of women entering the industry is a very real threat for UK plc. Women represent just 16% of IT professionals. By having a woman lead the App-a-thon sessions, we hope to have inspired many young women and demonstrated to them and their parents what an exciting and rewarding career IT can be.”

BCSWomen have submitted the record attempt to Guinness World Records and are now awaiting the official result.

Read more about BCS

In February 2015, former president of BCS Liz Bacon established a force of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) to encourage more women to consider careers in these fields. At the time of launch, Bacon said more girls and women should be encouraged into careers that involve science, engineering, maths and IT.

In March 2015 BCS called on employers to support apprenticeship schemes to close the skills gap, as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

BCS was named as an assessment organisation for the Digital Industry Trailblazer apprenticeships. The Trailblazers campaign launched in October 2013, as an apprenticeship scheme comprising large and small employers and professional bodies that have collaborated on the apprenticeship standards to ensure apprentices undergo a high standard of training.

Read more on IT technical skills

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