Priyav Shah first met the founders of Turinglab – Henry and Sam – while he was studying Computer Science at Imperial College London. He ended up working with them a couple of years later – originally as a developer, and later as Turinglab’s first student instructor.
“The main thing that I found from helping Children to learn to code is how varied they are,” he explains. “Children have different levels of concentration, ability, the ways they learn, how they work and how quickly they pick things up. So at Turinglab, we actively adapt our approach for each child, helping them in the best way we can.”
These early classes helped to develop what Turinglab would become. “The first groups of children gave us valuable feedback on what was working and what wasn’t,” Priyav explains. “We had limited resources at the time and we didn’t really have enough people to help develop our platform. Now that BJSS is on-board, this valuable feedback is finally being implemented.”
Priyav had never worked remotely before, so being part of a wider delivery team based 170 miles away in Leeds took a bit of getting used to. “But the communication between ourselves is really good,” Priyav explains. An extended BJSS team of Tim Barber and Sam McCarthy joined the project in April. They are helping Turinglab to deliver a large backlog of features so that the organisation can provide its services to Ada College. While Tim and Sam are based in the BJSS Digital Delivery Hub in Bristol, BJSS is experienced in successfully delivering projects even if teams are spread across wide geographic distances. “We’re now starting to see the impact of having the whole BJSS team help us – both the BJSS Academy team and the Bristol team. The platform has benefited from some really big changes recently, and it’s great to be part of a weekly Stand-up where everyone finds out about what has been going on, what has been worked on, and the things that will appear in the code base in the future.”
Priyav is having a great time developing the Turinglab learning platform at the moment, but he is also looking forward to stepping back into a student instructor role. He explains: “I’m excited to see how the children take to all of the changes we’re making to the platform. The improvements are huge – it is much more visual and our learning projects have become more streamlined and structured. There are some exciting new features too like interesting projects that are unlocked when the children successfully complete earlier challenges.”
“I’m one of the few people who really get to see a ‘before’ and ‘after’ view of the Turinglab learning platform,” Priyav ends. “It will be really interesting to see how children learn from the changes we’re making. If it ends up being as effective as we think it is, then our collective hard work will have been worth it!”