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Google & Seatwave among those backing free Devcamp to inspire London's youth

Firms from East London's Silicon Roundabout area and Internet giant Google are among those throwing their weight behind a new community-based tech initiative aimed at encouraging youngsters to take an interest in coding.

Following successful pilot courses last summer, Devcamp will formally launch this year and run from August 13-31, offering three free week-long courses to equip kids with the skills and confidence needed to build apps. Individual programmes are platform-specific, with young folk able to choose whether they want to focus on developing software for Facebook, smartphones, or the Internet.

Places are still available on this year's courses, and interested young people are encouraged to register their interest immediately as last year's trials were immensely popular.

Formal partners include Seatwave, Mind Candy, SkimLinks, Futureversity, and the Smack Agency, with the programme running out of the Rich Mix social centre in the heart of the capital's budding Tech City.

"Talented young people can now learn the skills they need to take part in the growing tech economy. The tech companies that are seeing such success in this area of London are now paving the way for the next generation of coders that the industry badly needs to grow," said Joe Cohen, CEO of Seatwave.

Search supremo Google is another company supporting the initiative, donating HTC Nexus One smartphones to Devcamp to help the budding techies test out their mobile creations.

In addition to teaching practical coding skills, the courses will also endeavour to excite young folk about the digital sector in general, with the organisers ultimately hoping the experience of working with industry professionals in E1 this summer helps to inspire career pathways in the future.