back to article 'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

A founder of the volunteer technology education group Code Club has resigned, claiming she was warned not to criticise the group’s sponsors – which include Google. User interface designer Linda Sandvik claims she was told to shut up or quit. “On Monday the 25th of August the Code Club board gave me an ultimatum: either I have …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    G00gle is

    a front operated by the US government to take over the world and to peer into everyone's private life so that they can then influence what you're thinking via targeted advertising and spam that are nothing more than subliminal messages. Google Glass is the ultimate in what the white house calls "crowdfunded" obligatory surveillance.

    Or so one might reasonably suspect.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: G00gle is

      > "crowdfunded" obligatory surveillance

      That sounds like Stewart Lee describing Twitter as a "state surveilance agency staffed by gullible volunteers. It's a Stasi for the Angry Birds generation."

    2. Jim 59

      Re: G00gle is

      I dislike Google and its influence as much as the next man. Much more than the next man, in fact. And I sympathise with Sandvik entirely. But, ultimately, if somebody is paying you, you can't publicly slag them off and expect the relationship to continue. Better if Google had not become involved in the first place.

      Frustratingly, this story does not include any of the negative words Sandvik has said about Google, only the warning she received in return - basically they wanted to operate her as a glove puppet - so comment is kinda pointless.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Better if Google had not become involved

        Better for whom?

        It's pretty much inevitable that Google and its ilk will shower money on any organisation that offers some support, or at least apathy, in return (see, e.g., http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/23/google_lobby_why/) but it's not clear it's always better for a charitable organisation to have no income than to have income with strings - and that's the choice they often have in the current climate.

        Of course, if Google paid what many people would consider to be its fair share of taxation, then this could be used for the public good without corporate strings being attached. Perhaps that would be better still?

      2. monkeyfish

        Re: G00gle is

        I actually see no issue with Google lobbying for what they want from any government, it's what every large organisation does. The issue is that the UK Government seems to lap it up without much question.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: G00gle is

        Thus you mean if a company buys ads on a newspaper, actually funding it, journalist should avoid to tell anything bad about that company?

        There's a big differences saying something bad about Google actually being a Google employee (but you all plauded Snowden for speaking bad about the NSA while being an NSA employee...), and while working for another company/organization even if Google funds it someway - especially to promote its own products...

        1. James Anderson Silver badge

          Re: G00gle is

          Er -- that is how it works in the real world.

        2. Ross K Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: G00gle is

          Thus you mean if a company buys ads on a newspaper, actually funding it, journalist should avoid to tell anything bad about that company?

          Care to tell me how newspaper advertising is the same as corporate sponsorship of something the government should be funding?

      4. Andrew Oakley

        Nobody volunteered to push ads for Google

        "ultimately, if somebody is paying you, you can't publicly slag them off and expect the relationship to continue" - well, there's the rub. Was she paid? I thought it was a volunteer job.

        I'd be pretty annoyed if I volunteered my time for free only to discover that my work was basically providing cheap tax-dodge advertising for a megacorporation, even if it was an otherwise ethical megacorporation. And Google is a very long way from ethical. I'd imagine she's quite rightly pretty livid.

        If Google want to employ someone of her calibre, then they should convince her to sign an employment contract and pay her a salary. Tax-dodging your way around employment law in the name of some horrible half-bred mutation of charity and marketing is not the right way to do it.

      5. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: G00gle is

        " ultimately, if somebody is paying you, you can't publicly slag them off and expect the relationship to continue"

        Well, that's not what Code Club is saying though. Their blog post claims that they are free to say anything they want about their sponsors*. Someone is telling porkies.

        *Of course their sponsors are equally free to withdraw their funding, so seeing what motivations are involved, my money is on Code Club being the party telling porkies

    3. MrXavia

      Re: G00gle is

      I like and dislike google in equal measure, because they are a big company, some of what they do is good, some is bad.

      But I do not think they are a government front...

      And yes google glass is part of the 'bad'...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google Glass

        > And yes google glass is part of the 'bad'...

        How is google glass any different from someone recording a video in a public place using a gopro or a cellphone camera ?

        If you are so concerned for your privacy, simply don't do things in public that you don't want others to see! If you don't want to get recorded making a mess in public transit, just don't do it! If you've kids, book a private cabana on your beach vacation, it's safer! If you are ashamed to be recorded while eating food, maybe cook at home - it's healthier!

        On one hand, you want a high-quality, free search engine, email, browser and an operating system and on the other hand you don't want them to make any money ? Something has to balance the books!!! If free open source software could've built it, you would be running firefox on your HURD device to visit mailpile. If paid software could've done it, you would be browsing hotmail on IE using windows. But they couldn't, so someone had to step in!

        Luddites will never appreciate the new technology even when it stares directly at them. Now go buy an iShine to make you think you did something worthwhile with your life.

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: G00gle is

      More likely the US government is a front operated by Google to take over the world and to peer into everyone's private life

    5. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Re: G00gle is EVIL

      Makes me laugh at my childish naivete from the days when I sort of believed the "Don't be evil" thing had any credibility. I've long understood that the rules of the business game as defined by American laws are sadly twisted. Corporations are required to be evil, to grow like mindless and vicious cancers, just to survive.

      Let me clarify. I'm NOT saying that most businesspeople are bad. It's just that the rules of the game are written by the most cheaply bribed politicians, who are being bribed by the least ethical and greediest businessmen. These businessmen have an insane problem. They think they don't have enough money, and they are insane because there is NO amount of money that could solve their problem. Unfortunately, in the end the cancer always kills its host, but like cancers, these super-rich super-greedy bastards can't think that far ahead.

      Returning more specifically to the topic of the article, it was actually censorship by the google that gave me my first hints they were going EVIL. This was actually many years ago, but it took some years to convince me that the google actually was as EVIL as it has become. Just another flavor of company that I am sometimes forced to be involved with because of the lack of options. Freedom? In a flying pig's eye. Capitalism? Sure, like the sheep being polled about which wolf has the prettiest teeth. We're just a bunch of sheeple playing in the games of wolves.

      TINY thread of hope in the case of the google. They don't actually control the entire Internet. They barely contribute to it at all, merely harvesting directions to the creative work of OTHER people. The google actually needs some credibility, and they are losing it quite rapidly. Maybe google will fall down and go boom.

      Unfortunately, when you consider the sick game of business, maybe the replacement will be worse.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. djack

    /me Applauds

    I've never heard of Code Club or the lady in question before, but I must applaud her stance on not sacrificing her principals.

    1. CCCP

      Re: /me Applauds

      The principals of the schools involved are probably also very happy not to be be sacrificed.

      Hang on, you mean principles...

      1. Mtech25
        Devil

        Re: /me Applauds

        To be honest I have met a few Principals which would make the world a better place if they ended up in a flaming volcano, but thumbs up for her standing up for her principles.

    2. Havin_it
      Headmaster

      Re: /me Applauds

      Come now, I'm sure at no point was she considering ritually murdering any head-teachers ;)

    3. king of foo

      Re: /me Applauds

      Agreed. Her "cofounder" should have backed her up. Who is the spineless cretin she worked with and why did they let her jump under a bus while they kept drinking the gravy?

  3. Joseph Haig

    As a Code Club volunteer, I am sorry to see Linda Sandvik's resignation. I disagree with her reasoning but respect her decision.

    Volunteers may have been teaching coding long before the current media obsession, but so was the foundation of Code Club and I do not recognise it in the description as a "bureaucratic, centralised scheme". I have found the curriculum and material, much of which was written by Linda, extremely helpful but at no time have I felt that it in any way restrictive.

    1. SolidSquid

      If what she's described is true then it suggests this was probably happening at the director level of the foundation, rather than at the group level. It's likely that corporate sponsors would react much more strongly to a director of the foundation voicing concerns about them, and that reaction would likely be fed back

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      @Joseph Haig:

      Joseph Haig:

      >> I do not recognise it in the description as a "bureaucratic, centralised scheme".<<

      Neither do I. You're putting 2+2 together and getting 94, there.

      We'll have a centralised scheme working in a few days in England and Wales, taught with reluctance, by exhausted non-experts. Any guesses how it'll turn out?

      1. Joseph Haig

        Re: @Joseph Haig:

        Neither do I. You're putting 2+2 together and getting 94, there.

        In which case I misunderstood and I apologise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Joseph Haig:

        > You're putting 2+2 together and getting 94, there.

        My accountant makes a living out of that.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Andrew Orlowski Re: @Joseph Haig:

        ".....We'll have a centralised scheme working in a few days in England and Wales, taught with reluctance, by exhausted non-experts. Any guesses how it'll turn out?" Bit of a presumption. I learnt my (now very out of date) coding skills from one of your 'exhausted non-experts' (who was actually very enthusiastic and experienced, having twenty-plus years experience in the industry before he 'retired' to education), at a British state secondary school, decades before Ms Sandvik even came to the UK. Ms Sandvik is simply talking male bovine manure with her claim "Teaching kids how to program because the government isn't."

        The essence of the issue seems to be Sandvik is not an industry big-hitter, has little to no experience of actually running an Internet business, and seems to have an obsession with 'digital art' rather than what companies (such as Google) actually want or expect from future coders. Her BSc in Philosophy (!) & Comp Sci does not seem to have included any modules on teaching, so if anyone is a 'non-expert' at teaching kids it would seem to be Ms Sandvik. Which begs the question of whether the articles is just Google-bashing.

        Whilst Ms Sandvik may be the Einstein of 'interface development' (is that the new, posh name for 'web designer'?), I would suggest Google would rate a massive amount higher in actually knowing about building and running in-house coded business platforms.

        1. Goldmember

          Re: Andrew Orlowski @Joseph Haig:

          Well things have changed considerably in the decades since you were in school. I left school in 2001 and I can assure you I didn't write a single line of code or have a single lesson on any kind of computer science until I went to college. The "curriculum" in the late 90s consisted of typing pages of text in Word and doing ask/yahoo searches (remember the days when Google was unheard of?)

          I have a friend who works in the IT dept of a secondary school, who assures me things haven't changed since then. The kids admit to knowing "nothing about computers."

          I had never heard of Sandvik before this, but I applaud her for what she tried to achieve and for standing up for herself.

  4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    well done that woman

    <respectful applause> Bravo. Standing up for principles. </respectful applause>

  5. malle-herbert
    Coat

    So basically...

    Someone told her NOT to bite the hand that feeds you ?

    1. lurker

      Re: So basically...

      Sometimes it's right to bite the hand that feeds you, if the body attached to the hand is doing stuff which merits a biting.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So basically...

      Education should be completely unrestricted. Otherwise it is just corporate funded brainwashing.

    3. NumptyScrub

      Re: So basically...

      "I do not want to get into the specifics of any particular policy. Nonetheless, it’s worth restating that I believe Robert Mugabe is a tremendous partner. As a member of the board I am completely aligned with that view."

      Sometimes you just feel compelled to bite :)

    4. KrisMac

      Re: So basically...

      /Me *Points Up to the Register Banner at the top of the page*

      See that motto? Biting the hand is precisely what is required more often than not. Unquestioned obedience to authority figures leads to only one destination.

      Noblesse oblige actually cuts two ways - it's not just about showering largesse around and basking in reflected glory - there is a certain humility expected as well. Unfortunately big corporate hasn't yet learned that full implications of the role they have stepped into since the demise of the autocracies.

      The dictionary of the French Academy, (don't start - that's another nasty discussion entirely), puts it this way: "Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly". Accepting that, then it is up to every one of the new nobility's followers to remind their overlords when they are slipping below that high threshold.

      This lady has done absolutely the right thing, and the rest of her Board should do the same...

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Shouldn't have resigned

    Should have kept up the criticism (where valid) and then waited for them to sack her - much more embarassing.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Shouldn't have resigned

      Doing what she did means that if someone fancies hiring her, they know she'll stick to her principals in a manner that doesn't cause a massive shitstorm - even if it doesn't align with their eventual direction.

      Had she taken the piss and done as you suggest, she'd be marked as trouble and had trouble working anywhere high profile again. No-one likes a stirrer.

      I think she did the right thing (given her stance on the subject) in a fairly reasonable way, from what I have read.

    2. Donkey Molestor X

      Re: Shouldn't have resigned

      > Should have kept up the criticism (where valid) and then waited for them to sack her - much more embarassing.

      I don't know so much about that. Sometimes it can be a really small industry and future potential partners or employers will care as much about HOW she exited an organization as WHY she exited an organization. She was given reasonable choices and then she chose one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shouldn't have resigned

        I can't imagine why she should criticise Google..

        https://twitter.com/hyper_linda/status/502661737653751808

        Be afraid.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google's Response

      Is entirely plausible though. They know full well how something like that would backfire.

      Only a "manager" in one of these "non-profit" quangos could be stupid enough to openly suggest that one should not criticise¹ their sponsors.

      ¹ If you anticipate that your sponsors might be subject to criticism, maybe they are not the best match to your organisation's values in the first place?

  7. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    get back “within a week”.

    In other words, go F yourself for a week and we MIGHT get back to you.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cash vs Principles

    It does seem to be that corporate donations seem to come with great big steel ropes attached, which should mean they are not donations as far as tax efficiency goes.

    If you donate money as an individual, and get something in return such as a pin badge, you cannot giftaid it, as it is not considered a donation, but a purchase (Source: BT Mydonate Terms & Conditions).

    So if corporate donations have direct or indirect influence on how the donor portrayed by in the media, and to other organisations/individuals, it is buying favour, and therefore not a donation, and should have due tax paid on it.

    Sponsoring is different in that you are giving money in the expectation of a set of rewards, and should be taxed, as should partnering, with charitable organisations.

    1. vagabondo

      Re: Cash vs Principles

      Those are very good points. But. Google is big business. Big business does not pay tax, so the effect of tax-offsetting is moot.

      The CEO of the Weir Group said on Radio Scotland that a possible reduction in corporation tax post a yes vote would be of no interest, as only 5% of corporations paid basic taxes. He was more interested in the benefits that come from Westminster. He, along with the head of the Wood Group (also trying to persuade us to vote no) seemed more interested in getting hold of fracking licences than any taxation issues.

    2. Fluffy Bunny
      Boffin

      Re: Cash vs Principles

      A pin badge is simply a token to demonstrate that you gave to the charity concerned and has no intrinsic value. Such a donation is still tax deductible. However, if you give money for a raffle ticket, that is not deductible.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they asked her

    to take the same stance any reasonable business or organisation would take, which is if you're asked about something political you simply don't answer and stick to the party line.

    The PR bods are the ones who talk to the press and give opinions, albeit company opinions. If she resigned over this piffling nonsense then she either has a cushy number to go to, or has shot herself in the foot.

    Morals, I shit 'em.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So they asked her

      The required party line is hardly a neutral no-comment:

      " Nonetheless, it’s worth restating that the Code Club board believe X are a tremendous partner. As a member of the board I am completely aligned with that view'.""

      And this is a public volunteer effort aimed at kids. Imagine it was an oil company funding the National Trust, you wouldn't expect to be able to get away with saying that about fracking in a national park.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So they asked her

      > Morals, I shit 'em.

      You're welcome to, but that won't get you very far.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: So they asked her

      " So they asked her to take the same stance any reasonable business or organisation would take"

      Except that I presume she wasn't being offered the big fat compensation package that any reasonable business might offer.

  10. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Click bait!

    Of course this story has nothing to do with dissing Google, but everything to do with internal PR bods going nuts. The lass resigned because she refused a new policy, not because she was asked to as a result of dissing anyone. Moreover, as I see it she was aiming squarely at UK.gov*, not Google**.

    *recently caught in deliberate blanket surveillance

    **not -or rather, less- recently caught in deliberate blanket surveillance

    1. asdf

      Re: Click bait!

      >internal PR bods going nuts

      Its a good thing public relations (ie term they gave themselves instead of corporate propaganda) exists for all the people that suck at STEM huh? Its too bad they are getting in the way as usual of people doing real work.

  11. Stuart Ball

    You can't herd volunteers, and organisations who make use of them should not try it.

    Same happened to Scout Assoc when the Cub Leader who stood upto the Lee Rigby killers in the street advocated the death penalty in a TV interview. Something the Scout Assoc is against as an organisation. It chose, as I recall, to respect her views as an individual, but disagree with her on the principle.

    Herding volunteers generates resentment and churn, neither of which most volunteer organisations need.

  12. Pete 2

    On the board

    So: children still get people trying to tell them how to code.

    Trendy IT "charities" still get money from government in the hope it will make them look "modern" and money from corporates in the hope it will make them look as if they're "giving back".

    An organisation's director is informed that part of that role is showing solidarity with your benefactors

    And someone's blog gets an upswing in the number of hits.

    Surely the time to voice an objection, especially for a board member, is when the corporate sponsorship is being discussed. If you realise at that point that you are unable to square what that sponsor stands for with some personal opinions you are incapable of keeping to yourself, that's the time to quit.

  13. Vimes

    Tin foil hat time?

    - Google escapes enforcement action over the whole street view wifi slurp fiasco

    - Google then also seems to get off scot free when it changed it's privacy policy.

    - Ex-ICO staffer whose name was associated with the initial wifi slurp investigation moves to Google.

    - Now Google supports pet projects partly funded by the government.

    This would be the same government that seems to have rolled over and not investigated Google as thoroughly as it should have. Coincidence? Or just quid quo pro for past inaction by the ICO?

    1. bo diddly
      Big Brother

      further conspiracy

      Reading the code club blog - one of the remaining Directors works for Metaswitch Networks - a company that provides surveillance friendly software to many US telcos: http://www.metaswitch.com/company/fact-sheet/customers. And further more has lucrative contracts with the US military.

      Go figure.

  14. Richard Tobin

    Non sequitur

    "Despite studies showing computer use makes no difference to educational outcomes, the top-down coding gravy train rolls on". What? These are completely separate things. Whether using computers is useful for learning in general has nothing to do with whether learning to code is a good thing. You might as well say that despite refrigerator use having no effect on educational outcomes, we still teach thermodynamics.

  15. asiaseen

    ...workers could hire and fire their doctors.

    Well, the few who could afford to hire one in the first place. Britain before the NHS was not a healthy place if you were one of the hoi polloi.

    1. Spleen

      Re: ...workers could hire and fire their doctors.

      You think the hoi polloi are healthy now??

      1. Caesarius
        Joke

        Re: ...workers could hire and fire their doctors.

        "The Great Unwashed"

  16. kmac499

    Congratulations

    Though not biting the hand that feeds you, is a sensible strategy when you are working in a commercial post directly for that hand. However If the hand that is feeding you, is second hand and not your sole source of sustenance then a bit of grumbling is fine..

    Otherwise your independence is immediately suspect.

    More power to Lisa.

  17. Caoilte

    Could you elaborate on what's faddish about GDS, Andrew?

    I've been quite impressed by their work (as shared on their blog https://gds.blog.gov.uk/) and I count them as one of the few successes of this government (as evidenced by the so far smooth rollout of the new polling database - in comparison to the recent e-borders payout).

    I can't tell if your bile is aimed at GDS specifically or government in general, but I would be saddened if it turned out that a political bent for libertarianism undermined an appreciation for well managed agile engineering practices.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      > Andrew

      > a political bent for libertarianism

      MUAH

  18. scrubber

    In other news...

    Google deny reading people's Gmail emails because they are automatically scanned by a computer in order to serve up related ads and never seen by human eyes.

    Unless the computers see some dodgy pics (or terroristic text?) and they alert the authorities, in which case plod certainly gets eyeballs on your emails.

  19. Alan Denman

    A load of kidding around anyway ?

    I read somewhere that gender bias means few women study computing.

    What is worse is that the whole school system is Neanderthal biased.

    If parents and teachers can't code so what hope is there for the kids if we rely on clubs for the bare essentials?

  20. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    She was right

    The Code Club homepage specifically states : "A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11".

    It is volunteer-led. You don't tell volunteers what to say or how to speak. If you don't agree with what they say, YOU leave.

    So kudos to her.

    In an ideal world, when such pressure was applied, the Board should have been united in simply ignoring this nonsense. This is obviously a case where the Board is comprised of less volunteers than besuited yes-men standing at attention when Number 10 makes a call.

    Not a good point for the "Club".

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: She was right

      "You don't tell volunteers what to say or how to speak."

      - Of course you bloody do or they can sling their hook. You think Cancer Research is going to be happy with a volunteer who holds and publicly expresses racist views and spouts that cancer is punishment for being sinful? Of course not, they are informed "thank you, we don't need your help".

      "In an ideal world, when such pressure was applied, the Board should have been united in simply ignoring this nonsense."

      - I've seen absolutely no evidence that the pressure came from anyway OTHER than the Board. I very much doubt Google gave much of a tinkers piss what this person had to say, they have for the most part over the years shown they have pretty broad shoulders and nothing in the article suggests Number 10 made the call at all.

      BTW - I keep seeing everyone still stating that Google spies deliberately for the NSA and they have a special system of giving them everything and etc. Did anyone produce any genuine evidence for this beyond Snowdens single Powerpoint slide?

      1. ShadowedOne
        FAIL

        Re: She was right

        "Of course you bloody do or they can sling their hook. You think Cancer Research is going to be..."

        I have never heard of any *volunteer led* cancer research. And while you left it out of your quote, that is exactly what the OP was talking about, *volunteer led* organizations.

  21. Hans 1 Silver badge

    'Code Club' looks like a taxpayer's money laundering scheme, if you read the timeline.

    Hmm, all very fishy ...

  22. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Google Sucks

    everything everywhere.... nuff said.

  23. ecofeco Silver badge

    Seen this a thousand times

    • Well intentioned group gets together to help people. Achieve success. Attract well intentioned funding from corporate/orgs/gov/investors.
    • Outside funding now starts making demands. At least one of the original founders starts angling for personal gain and snogging with the outside funders.
    • Rest of original founders object and are systematically and summarily replaced by one means or another.
    • Original group and idea now co-opted by outside funders and turned into pet project of the idle rich/well connected while assuaging any feeling of guilt about reasons the less advantaged needed help in the first place.
    • Idea/project/program now completely mismanaged and ends up helping no one but the new leaders
    • Lesson learned? Why bother any more?
    • Result? Society goes to hell, but it's all the lazy poor people's fault!

    Did I miss a step?

  24. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Last year PM David Cameron called for “more emphasis on modern methods of computing like coding”.

    If it weren't so sad, it is hysterical when people who haven't the slightest fucking clue what they're talking about try to "talk tech".

    Fail on so many levels....

    1. veti Silver badge

      I'm so glad someone picked up on that. I'd love to see someone troll him on it.

      "As opposed to all those ancient methods of computing like, umm, point-and-click?"

    2. F0rdPrefect
      WTF?

      Coding? Modern?

      So what was it when I was doing it at school, back in the 60s?

      It was actually massively useful for all who did it, including those without any natural aptitude, as it taught logical thinking.

      Something so little of the rest of the curriculum did/does.

      Something that parts of it are actually against.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Coding? Modern?

        I suppose that "modern coding" is writing HTML...

        (/me ducks and heads for cover...)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something positive to say about this "Club"

    I've read their blog and I'm comforted by the restrain they have shown.

    There are only three occurrences of the adjective "amazing" and exactly zero awesomes.

    IMO, that's super-awesome AND amazing, like.

  26. Useless User

    Britain is becoming a shop with 64 million customers

    "Britain once led the world in community-centred civic organisation, with mutual societies, co-operatives and trade unions looking after many of the working and middle classes' health, education and finance needs. The organisations didn’t cover everyone, of course, but they created a civic spine and gave their users strong grassroots accountability."

    This.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Britain has a glorious past, there is no doubt about that.

      Unfortunately, it is all in the past.

      And you can say that about quite a few countries, these days.

      I am starting to wonder if our "modern" society is all that great. It seems to me that a model that cannot foster elements capable of sustaining the model is doomed to failure, and our current model has not produced anything near the enlightened, egalitarian world we were promised after WWII. Today, it's all about how soon I can get the next shiny, and if children are slaving away in poor countries to produce it well that's not my problem.

      That's not my problem. It is that attitude that brought us here, and now we're all in trouble. And I think it's going to get worse before it gets better.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        You get an upvote from me, Pascal.

  27. NeverMindTheBullocks

    GDS

    "...and GDS, a state IT contractor largely staffed by web designers."

    Oh come on, that's being most unfair to web designers.

  28. John Lilburne

    Sensitive little flowers aren't they!

    [Google contacted the Register to deny making “any suggestions” to CodeClub or its supporters in government not to criticise sponsors and invited us to read CodeClub’s blog entry. Codeclub has also been in touch with us to ask us to do the latter.]

  29. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Interesting to sit back and watch this spiral in....

    So a successful, volunteer based group was teaching kids who were interested how to code. And now by edict all kids must learn this. Am I understanding this right? If so, I'll be like teaching anything that certain (the majority) of kids don't want to learn. Those that do will be chastised for it and the whole mess will crash and burn. Way to go, guys. This will not turn out well for the charity or for the kids and IT will get a big slap for it.

  30. Irongut Silver badge

    modern methods of computing like coding

    Because 30 years ago no one had even heard of code. Especially not 11 year old me. Oh no.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 PRINT "i resign"

    20 GOTO 10

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This seems overblown

    I doubt this was the only reason she left. There's usually more to it.

    I'm interested in the point about things like this not materially affecting school grades. My guess is that that's because the way science, maths and computing are graded in school is so flawed that anyone who is half-decent at following a process, focussing on abstract facts and thinking logically (the key basic requirements to be good in this area) is already getting the right grades in school just by regurgitating the information they've digested.

    What these clubs will do, if run properly, is make people who might be interested in coding and computer science able to discover whether they are and, if so, get started early.

    The value of that goes beyond a small way beyond schools pumping up their grade counts and is similar to the value of school sports and other extra-curricular activities in building the actual skills and focus points that really make a difference.

  33. Ross K Silver badge
    FAIL

    Clickbait much?

    And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'

    Did I miss the bit in the article where Google threatened the Code Club?

    Has the author (or anybody else) got proof that the sponsorship enabled them to steer the Code Club in a certain direction? The Code Club's statement about funding on their website would suggest they're not obliged to any sponsor.

    Sandvik obviously didn't like Google so she left - seems like a non-story to me.

    Now she can start her own coder academy and raise her own funding...

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Coat

      Re: Now she can start her own coder academy...

      She did, Ross.

      Or did you not read the bit about her being a founder member of Code Club?

      P.S. Another director apparently resigned earlier this year for the same reason, according to a comment on her blog...

      1. Ross K Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Now she can start her own coder academy...

        Or did you not read the bit about her being a founder member of Code Club?

        Yeah I did. It's right there in the article title.

        P.S. Another director apparently resigned earlier this year for the same reason, according to a comment on her blog...

        So comments by readers on blog posts are newsworthy now? Do you have a press release or something to that effect? Something a bit more solid, you know?

        Despite her praiseworthy efforts to get kids interested in computing, this woman sounds like a fucking baby throwing her toys out of the pram because things didn't go her way.

        If you're happily taking Google's (or Apple's, or Microsoft's) money you can't turn around and bitch about them. Take the money and say 'Thank You', or hand the money back and get your sponsorship from the local fluffy bunny sanctuary if you don't like ethical dilemmas...

  34. SamOne

    The first rule of Code Club is

    You do not talk about Code Club (Sponsors)

  35. This Side Up
    Flame

    Modern methods?

    'Last year PM David Cameron called for “more emphasis on modern methods of computing like coding”.'

    What planet is Cameron on? Since when has coding not been an essential part of operating digital computers? Btw Mr, Cameron, writing html is not coding (and it's not new either).

  36. This Side Up

    'Last year PM David Cameron called for “more emphasis on modern methods of computing like coding”.'

    What planet is Cameron on? Since when has coding not been an essential part of operating digital computers?

  37. Tree

    Gurgle be evil

    The company spies on us if we do not work hard to prevent that from happening. What they do with that data they collect about us, is not certain. Some may be used for nefarious purposes. Some of the data was apparently sucked out of their databases by the NSA. The company that spies on us was angry that someone was spying on them. Who else has access to our data now?

    Search your computer for the word "google" You would be surprised how many times it turns up. This does not count "doubleclick" and other products owned by google. I don't recommend deleting every file with google in its name. It cannot all be deleted or your computer will stop working. What are all these things and are they spying on me, too?

  38. Pu02

    a. So what should we acquire now?

    b. We need to buy some credibility. What's left out there that Cisco hasn't bought?

    a. What if we bought a charity doing good work?

    b. Brilliant! How much would it cost- 3x, 5x the investment?

    a. What if we just donate, and exercise influence?

    b. Huh? am i getting this right... you're saying it might be cheaper?

    a. Absolutely. And we can right it off on tax (assuming we're making a profit that year- in that county)

    b. Of course... charities need money! OK, let's start with...

  39. ElectricRook

    In the afterlife

    "computer use makes no difference to educational outcomes" . . . Correct, but computer use has great influence on job performance, especially in the STEM career fields where those who are capable of using a machine to down the heavy lifting greatly outclass -'hem what can't.

  40. ElectricRook

    embrace, extend, extinguish.

    "embrace, extend, extinguish"

    What a great policy. Hold your friends close, hold your enemies closer, squeeze them tight, choke the life out of them.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020