A few months back we were approached by the Warwick County Council who asked us if we would like to get involved with an initiative they were planning, where computer professionals visit schools and colleges to talk about subjects like web development, software development, programming and learning to write code. It was a great plan, getting high school students interested in subjects such as these and full marks to the Council for coming up with such a credible and worthwhile project, one we were honored to have been selected to participate in. As a small, and very busy, studio we couldn’t commit to schedule that would be required so had to pass on the opportunity and hadn’t really thought about it again … until now.
It seems that WCC weren’t the only ones who had a similar plan, another group were doing the same and on a massive scale too. If you haven’t seen the news recently, a non-profit organization in the USA is hitting the headlines by bringing programming into schools. CODE.ORG have amazingly brought together some of the world’s greatest leaders and trendsetters together to promote CODE writing as a subject in schools.
This is primarily an American venture right now but with the big-name backing they have on-board, it’s only a matter of time until the movement gains International momentum. The list of names giving CODE.ORG their support is like a ‘who’s who’ of IT and Internet giants, specifically the big players in social networking. Here’s just a few of the many: Bill Gates, Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook. Richard Branson, Virgin. Jack Dorsey, Twitter. Yishan Wong, Reddit. Eric Schmidt, Google. Drew Houston, Dropbox. Gabe Newell, Valve. Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly media. Plus many other celebs from the worlds of TV, music and sport. As you can probably gather from that list, there is no doubt that this initiative will be successful in bringing the schools of the world ‘programming and code’ as a curriculum subject.
The statistics related to the next IT generation are nothing short of mind-blowing, in the USA by 2020 there will be 1.4 million jobs in computing but only 400,000 computer science students to fill them. 9 out of 10 schools don’t offer programming classes at all. Computer Programming students account for less than 2% of maths and science related subjects and yet 60% of all graduate jobs are in this category!
For any programmers, engineers or software professionals who have the time to get involved with this remarkable initiative, you can sign up and commit some of your time at code.org in a number of different ways. For every one else, why not visit the site and add your name to growing list of people who think that every student should have the opportunity to learn to code. We certainly do!
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