Saturday, 28 December 2013

CareerHack AppChallenge 2014

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) are running a competition. They are billing it as a £20,000 App Challenge. Which technically it is, HOWEVER that is the sum amount of the prize money on offer. The actual first prize is £10,000, with a second prize of £5,000. Now that doesn't add up to £20,000 does it? Well it does if you add in the special prize of £5,000 for any student in the age range 16-24, and studying in Further Education within the UK. Pretty good hey?

So what are UKCES looking for to be in with a chance to win this money? They are looking for people to design apps that use the data from the Labour Market Information (LMI) for All website in "new and innovative ways".

The contest started on the 18th November 2013, and closes at 5pm GMT on the 21st February 2014.

Go read up on the rules etc (links below)

You can contact on Twitter: @appchallenge and @lmiforall
They mention these hashtags to use: #careerhack #lmiforall

Further Info Here:
Contest Web Page
LMI for All Website

When I get back I will be encouraging my students to enter this competition. I think this is a great idea, and I hope some of them will take up the challenge. It would be nice to use our STEM Fair in March to show off some of the entries.

Now here is a first, considering the name of this blog, there hasn't been any coding so far.
So I knocked up a small Python program that accesses the LMIforAll api to get a list of Standard Occupational Codes (soc) for a keyword. A lot of the other api's need this soc code to work.

Not the best example, and not the best coded Python by a mile. But it does give a very simple example of accessing the LMIforAll api, which is sadly missing at the moment from their site.
I say sadly considering the fact they have a special prize for students, and with the popularity of Python in schools/colleges I think this is a little bit of an oversight. Yes they have an example of a web app (HTML/javascript if I remember correctly, I didn't investigate it too much), and there is an Objective C example I came across, but nothing in Python.

You can get further info on the requests library here. How to install the requests library here.

UPDATE1: Added use of Syntax Highlighter for displaying the Python code
UPDATE2: Note the Python code is 2.7 


  1. Thanks Darren - I'll publish a link on our contest website under FAQ . See