Mission to Mars - Software Cornwall

Software Cornwall, with the support of its members, runs two versions of the ‘Mission to Mars’, work experience activity. One is a week-long structured activity which is complemented by a two day accelerated version.  The programs invite budding software developers aged 14 to 24 to code Ada and Alan, our Mars rover robots, allowing them to traverse the tricky Martian terrain in search of extraterrestrial life.

The Mission to Mars work experience programme designed to provide a realistic experience of being a software developer. Working in teams, participants are supported in completing a set of incrementally difficult tasks, each built upon the abilities of the robots. Industry professionals join us throughout the week to coach participants, helping to develop problem-solving skills and writing quality software.

During the mission, applicants will:

  • Develop solutions using C++ and Raspberry PI for Arduino based hardware.
  • Work as part of a close-knit team.
  • Create software using an Agile development process.
  • Test solutions before deploying onto the rovers.
  • Present their product to potential ‘investors’ and VIPs.

A key objective of Software Cornwall is to support young people into careers in software engineering. Our members have been delighted, but overwhelmed, by requests for work experience. Due to the nature of the industry, it is difficult to provide an engaging and hands-on work experience for placement students meaning places are in short supply. To alleviate this problem, companies have decided to collaborate and volunteer their time and developers to help run a work experience week for budding developers.

Mission to Mars is part of Software Cornwall’s education outreach program, designed to stimulate the computing industry from the ground up. In 2017, Cornwall was ranked in the top three tech clusters for growth, for the third year running but ranked poorly for computing subject uptake in further education. To support future growth, we are investing in learners from a young age, which is hoped to increase the pool of homegrown talent for the wider tech industry within the county in years to come.


Full Missions planned for 2020

March 30th – April 2nd 2020, St. Austell Area – venue to be assigned.
July 13th to 17th 2020 at Heartlands, Pool – softwarecornwall.org/work-experience-july-2020/
October 2020, Liskeard area – TBC


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