Kelly Gardner

Kelly Gardner | CodeBase Stirling

Kelly Gardner

Despite coming from a non-technical background, Kelly has been an inspirational figure in CodeBase Stirling’s digital skills workshops for young people.

Kelly undertook a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature at the University of Stirling, focusing on the emergence and development of sentience in post-human zombie gothic, and once graduated shifted her research towards transhumanism and technological body modifications, birthing an unrestrained enthusiasm for technology.

Kelly is evangelical about teaching kids the importance of digital skills and plays a vital role in CodeBase’s Level:Up programme of digital skills, which includes Prewired, Digital Skills 4 Girls, Bring Your Own Grown Up and Schools Outreach programme. She has also spoken extensively at schools, encouraging students to consider careers in the tech and digital sector and has been an invited speaker at higher education career events to discuss her transition from academia to technology.

A self-taught ‘techie’ has taken the lead with Prewired, CodeBase Stirling’s fortnightly coding club and has personally introduced kids to robotics, micro:bits and electronic circuitry.

She spends most of her spare time learning new skills to pass onto the young attendees. Kelly is also a key figure in CodeBase Stirling’s monthly Digital Skills 4 Girls sessions, leading many of the workshops - from Design Your Own Arcade Machine to Conductive circuits.

She has also joined the Board of Prewired, further helping to encourage and support young people’s coding skills.

In 2019 Kelly was a Technology Champion in Education finalist for the Scotland Women in Technology Awards and she has recently been shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award at the Scottish Digital Technology Awards 2020.

Kelly Gardner

Kelly Gardner | CodeBase [Stirling]

Kelly Gardner

My journey into the world of technology has been an unconventional one and proves that anyone can have a career in tech if they are passionate enough to pursue it.

My background is in Academia, I moved to Stirling from Johannesburg, South Africa, to complete a Master of Letters in The Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling. Following this I undertook a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature. My research was on the emergence and development of sentience in post-human zombie gothic and towards the end of my degree I moved on to researching transhumanism and technological body modifications which birthed my interest in technology. After working as a teaching fellow at the University of Stirling for four years I was desperate for a career change and joined CodeBase Stirling as the Digital Content Administrator and Events Support. In addition to running the CodeBase Stirling digital channels, and despite my lack of coding skills, I started as a mentor for our biweekly coding club, Prewired. In the past year I have focussed on advancing my own programming skills and in turn I have assisted in further developing our digital skills sessions. Now I design and facilitate workshops for our Digital Skills 4 Girls sessions and our Level:Up program, which aims to support young people interested in learning more about future careers in tech. Over the next year we hope to expand our program to offer digital skills sessions to the wider community, and across Scotland.