Sumo Digital Academy has announced a series of initiatives designed to encourage more women and those in other underrepresented groups to get into coding and join the UK video game industry.
A series of workshops in February and March will provide an undergraduate-level introduction to the C++ programming language through making games. These will be held online and hosted in partnership with the Sheffield Women in Computer Science society (SWiCS).
The Academy will run additional workshops and competitions in partnership with the National Videogame Museum as part of Games Careers Week. This will include more C++ workshops aimed at A-Level students and a C++ coding competition. Games Careers Week is scheduled to take place from 26 March to 2 April 2021.
“Investing in the future of coding is important to Sumo and the wider UK video game industry, and it’s crucial that through our efforts we shape a future that’s inclusive,” said Sumo Digitals Director of Education Partnerships and Academy lead Dr Jacob Habgood.
“C++ can be seen as a dry and difficult language to learn, but it is a pre-requisite for the vast majority of programming roles in big game studios. Our learning resources have been designed to help lower the entry barrier for learning C++ and make it more engaging too!”
“The Sheffield Women in Computer Science society is a fantastic initiative and we’re delighted they were able to support us in offering these workshops to their members during lockdown.”
All resources used in the planned workshops will be made publicly available for free during games careers week.
“We are proud to partner with Sumo to support the expansive opportunity for women in Computer Science,” said Kassandra Yuen, President of the Sheffield Women in Computer Science Society. “The UK needs to unlock untapped potential in women and other under-represented groups from all walks of life. Workshops like the ones we have planned are integral to achieving the goal.”
The Sumo Digital Academy was established to address the need to expand the talent pool required to meet the UK games industry’s continued growth.
The workshops are part of its long-term vision to recruit new talent from outside the traditional education channels into the Academy training scheme, which launched in September 2020. The Academy’s first programmer trainees joined with degrees in Fashion, Physics, History and Philosophy – unusual backgrounds for game development.
Further initiatives are planned through 2021, details of which will be announced in due course.
About Sumo Digital
Founded in 2003, award-winning Sumo Digital employs over 750 staff across its ten studios in the UK, India, and Poland. UK studios include Sumo Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Leamington, and Warrington plus The Chinese Room (Brighton), Red Kite Games (Leeds), and Lab42 (Leamington Spa). Sumo’s international studios include Sumo Video Games, in Pune, India, and PixelAnt Games in Wroclaw, Poland. Developing successful games across all platforms and genres, Sumo is recognised for its versatility, proprietary technology, and creativity across a portfolio of games featuring titles for major publishers including Microsoft, Sony, SEGA, and 2K. Sumo Digital is part of Sumo Group plc.
About Sheffield Women in Computer Science Society
Founded in 2018, the Sheffield Women in Computer Science society (SWiCS) is dedicated to empowering women in the field of Computer Science and achieving gender diversity in industry.
The society hosts inspirational talks, networking events, workshops and social activities. Through the community, they create opportunities for women to build skills and confidence.
SWiCS Workshop Information Link:
About the National Videogame Museum
The NVM is run by the BGI, a registered charity number 1183530 that educates the public about the art, science, history and technology of videogames. The NVM celebrates videogame culture and runs award-winning educational events that inspire young people to start making their own games. For more details about the NVM, please visit: https://www.thenvm.org.
About Games Careers Week
Games Careers Week 2021 is a celebration of video game careers with nationwide events reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers, job-seekers and >50 games organisations. Games Careers Week is a service operated & funded by the charity the BGI, Grads in Games CIC and Into Games CIC, non-profit organisations working to advance games education in the UK. The event will run from 26th March – 2nd April 2021. For more information, please visit: https://gamescareersweek.org