Over 1000 people help in attempt to set Guinness World Record for coding an Android app

16 June 2015

Over 1000 people have taken part in an attempt across the UK to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people simultaneously learning to code an Android app. The appathon, organised by BCSWomen, was held on Saturday 13 June 2015. The 1000 plus participants were taught to code an app by women teachers across 30 locations in the UK including the following universities and companies:  

Aberystwyth University, BCS London, Bournemouth University, College of North West London, Deloitte - London, Edinburgh College of Art, Edge Hill University. Lancashire, Google Campus with UCL and Brunel Universities, Isle of Coll, London School of Economics and Political Science, London South Bank University, North East Scotland College, O2 (Telefonica UK), Oxford Centre for Innovation, Plymouth University, Girls in Tech NW at Space Interactive Media Labs, Manchester, The Crystal, A Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens - London. The National Museum of Computing, University of Bath, University of Bedfordshire, University of Derby, University of Dundee, University of East London, University of Glasgow, University of Greenwich, University of Huddersfield, University of Warwick, University of West Scotland, University of Wolverhampton, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Woodkirk Academy, Wakefield.

The attempt was organised and run by volunteers. Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen says. “We are over the moon to have attempted the App-a-thon Guinness World Record. Coordinating something like this is no mean feat - it requires months of planning and coordination, which many of us fitted around our day jobs. To attempt the record is a fantastic achievement that can be attributed to the hard work and determination of our BCSWomen members and all the locations’ volunteers.”

Each appathon session was led by a woman who taught participants how to build Android apps using MIT AppInventor. One of the aims of the event was to encourage girls to consider a career in IT by demonstrating that women can and do IT. The sessions were a mixture of talks, activities and hands-on coding.

Gillian continues: “It is vital that we support girls wishing to enter 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.”

Information and evidence from the attempt will now be collated and sent to the Guinness World Records for verification and confirmation that the record has been set - the verdict may take a few weeks.

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