Deliveroo marked Tech week by offering coding courses to riders

To celebrate and take part in London Tech Week, Deliveroo hosted coding workshops on 12th and 13th June for Deliveroo riders. 50 riders were given the opportunity to learn the basics of how the internet works, how websites are made, and even create a website of their own.

Tom Pywell (a Dublin-based Computer Science student who has been riding with Deliveroo since October 2015) helped facilitate the course and has written about his experience below.

25 riders each day were welcomed to the workshop by the experienced, expert software engineers of Deliveroo – some of the best in the world. While being given presentations about how to set up our own websites it was great to see the riders given the opportunity to understand complicated concepts, ask questions, learn and ultimately expand our skills sets. After being given a live demo on making a simple webpage in HTML & CSS, the riders took to the provided laptops and began coding their very own websites.

After a couple of hours of coding, lots of questions and discussion – and of course a bite to eat in the middle as Deliveroo is, after all, a food company at heart – the riders had websites ready to publish online. The riders’ code was then published and made live with GitHub – both to host the sites and so the riders could continue coding from home.

These courses will help Deliveroo riders in different ways. Some were there to to develop their own apps in future, others want to set up their own clothing label, one wanted to feature their photography online, and some simply want to add to existing computer science knowledge. Riders often choose Deliveroo because it means they can work around other commitments, whether other jobs, study, or being carers. We value the flexibility. But alongside this we all want to use the experience help us in our other walks of life and these coding courses show the company understands this. I am glad they will be rolled out in different forms elsewhere.

That understanding comes from the top. As well as meeting the software engineers, the riders met Will Shu, Co-Founder of Deliveroo, who personally came up with this initiative of using Deliveroo’s in-house tech expertise to support Deliveroo’s riders. Will gave a quick talk and took all questions the riders had about varying aspects of the company. It was great to see him so connected with all of the riders and some were surprised he still rides for Deliveroo himself (he was the first ever Deliveroo rider) .

I’m both a rider with Deliveroo and a Computer Science student, hoping to intern with companies such as Deliveroo in the future. I guess I bridged the gap between the riders and the engineers. The riders were very interested as to how one of their own might get into the software industry and I hope many of them will continue to learn more code. As well as the riders learning from me, I learned lots from the engineers. Deliveroo is helping me pay my way through university, as well giving me more opportunities and keeping me fit. It is great that the company sees the riders as a community in this way. Events like this are what makes riding with Deliveroo such an exciting thing to be part of. It was great to see all the riders leave at the end of the day with smiles on faces and swag bags in their hands. I can’t wait for the next event!

The author is Tom Pywell, who co-facilitated the sessions. He is a Dublin-based Computer Science student who has been riding with Deliveroo since October 2015. Tom helped the Deliveroo engineering team facilitate the coding course, using his unique insights into the world of coding and riding with Deliveroo.