February 26, 2013

How Important it is for Our Youth to Code


When we think of some of the greatest minds of our generation, the first people that come to mind are Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter, the creators behind technology and social media that is used by billions of people on a daily basis. Most consumers, when looking at these inventions, are mesmerized by its complexity and technology-heavy material and do not believe that they could ever create such a product.

Yet, what all of these creators have in common is their deep understanding and education, whether its self-taught or learned in school, of computer coding. With the lack of funding and courses in the U.S. educational system dedicated to computer programming, our youth is not being properly equipped with skills that are needed to thrive in a world defined by such technology and the unlimited space to create the next biggest revelation.

Code.org, a not-for-profit organization, has created a campaign to make programming classes more widely available in schools around the country.

According to the video below, more than one million of the best jobs in America go unfilled because only one in 10 schools teach students how to code.

“Our policy is to hire as many talented engineers as we can find, the whole limit in the system is that there aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today,” said Zuckerberg. 

Code.org was founded by Hadi Partovi, a tech entrepreneur, advisor and investor, along with technology companies to address the lack of programming skills that the U.S. education system has to offer today’s youth. As technology begins to infiltrate almost every industry, it is vital that students and those seeking jobs during a time when our country is plagued by such economic depression are able to thrive in the industries that offer the most opportunities.

“Even if you want to become a racecar driver, play baseball, or build a house, all of these things have been turned upside down by software,” Drew Housten, creator of Dropbox, a service that lets you bring photos, documents and videos anywhere and share them, in the film.

The informational video created by Coding.org features people in drastically different industries, like Chris Bosh, a Miami Heat basketball player who took computer programming classes in college, and Will.i.am, a musician from The Black Eyed Peas, who is an advocate of Coding.org’s awareness campaign.

“Here we are, 2013, we all depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code,” said Will.i.am in the film. “It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at eight years old, to read and write code.”

Code.org is using the information film, advocates and industry leaders to encourage people to sign a petition on its website that says that every student should be given the opportunity to take computer programming classes and learn coding, and further the development of computer science courses.

“I think if someone had told me that computer software is about humanity and helping people by using computer technology it would have changed my outlook a lot earlier,” said an interviewee in the film.

To learn more about how you can join Code.orgs’ mission and sign the petition, click here.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey



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