Blast Furnace is the newest coding network group in Newcastle at The Business Centre

Speaking in code: Saphi Engineering founder Cameron Owen, right, with colleague Eric Johhs, will launch Blast Furnace.
Speaking in code: Saphi Engineering founder Cameron Owen, right, with colleague Eric Johhs, will launch Blast Furnace.

CODERS have a new launch pad in Newcastle initiative Blast Furnace.

The monthly coding meeting, which debuts on July 12 at The Business Centre, is the brainwave of computer engineer Cameron Owen.

A former AmpControl trainee, Mr Owen founded his company Saphi Engineering, which creates robotic solutions for industrial clients, in 2017. Its flagship product is CyferLinx, dubbed “the LinkedIn of coding” because it allows coders to store their coding platforms in one place, automatically generates an online resume with a graph of a coder’s “languages”, and allows recruiters and employers a real time view of their skills. 

Blast Furnace will run an introduction to coding for beginners, coding competitions for intemediate skill levels and project-based collaborations for advanced coders. Participants can register on Cyferlinx to boost their employment prospects. 

“I like the idea of going to this type of event where you can compete and collaborate on projects; other meet-ups are more based on hearing someone talk on a topic,” says Mr Owen. “There’s nowhere to go to get help on something or just learn and talk to people with industry experience.”

His love of coding was fuelled by his grandfather, who let him play for hours on motors and electronics in his mechanical workshop.

His idea for CyferLinx came when, as a software consultant working on industrial software in mining and control systems, he needed to find programmers to assist him. Finding people wasn’t hard, but vetting candidates and getting a real idea of their skills was harder. 

Mr Owen says coding will be the “next blue collar job”.

“There will be a requirement for any new age business to have programmers to be working on software – I think data is like the new coal,” he says. “Everyone will be mining your data, wanting to know information about everything and to do that you need programmers to sort and shift the data and display it in a way that makes sense. I think the industry as we lose jobs to automation we’ll create jobs in programming.

See www.cyferlinx.com/blastfurnace