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"Code Week": eight reasons to brush up your computer skills

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"Code Week": eight reasons to brush up your computer skills



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The Codebreakers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War were a vital cog in the machine that eventually defeated Nazi Germany.

These days the new vogue is code.

As a result the EU has set up Code Week to celebrate and promote learning how to code.

Code Week means a splash of events all over Europe as well as Australia, Taiwan, Egypt and beyond.

Coding is a new language for most of us, but it is important in today’s world. Let’s make a listicle:

  • 1. You are never too old to learn how to code. And there are plenty of resources to help you. See the story of Laurie , who started to learn at age 57. Some even argue that coding is good for the economy.
  • 2. All the cool kids are doing it, even Barack Obama. In December 2014, Obama became the first US president to write a line of code during an event to promote computer science education.
  • 3. It’s child’s play. Literally. Several websites and apps aim to help children and teenagers learn how to code. Young children aged 5 to 7 can try Scratch Jr, developped by Tufts University and the MIT. Older kids can learn code by programming a virtual robot with RoboMindacademy.
  • 4. Learning to code is not procrastinating, in fact it’s good for your job because it involves skills that are easily applicable to your daily work. It could also make your life easier. Anna Inman, who works in a senior sales-focused role at a leading e-invoicing company, told the Independent that coding had become part of her day-to-day routine. “Learning to code,” says Inman, “helps you to structure your thoughts, condense them into clear commands, and obtain the results you need.”
  • 5. It could even improve your career. You might not be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but learning code can help you climb the professional ladder. The EU Commission even says promoting coding skills is part of the solution to youth unemployment.
  • 6. We are increasingly surrounded by code, in every field. Getting familiar with how it works will allow you to fix problems, but also to create your own software.
  • 7. It’s never been easier to learn how to code, when you consider all the tools, tutorials and information now available online.
  • 8. Advocates of “coding for all” point to the fact that those doing it today are still largely white young males, but if everyone embraces the skill, there will be more diversity in the Silicon Valley.

Already in the US, several courses aim to close the gender and diversity gap in the technology and engineering sectors:

Robin Hauser Reynolds has even made a documentary about the tech gender gap, after her daughter felt compelled to drop out of computer science because she was only one of two women in a class of 35.

CODE teaser from Finish Line Features, LLC on Vimeo.

Meanwhile civil rights leader Jesse Jackson launched a campaign in August to tackle the issue of diversity in the Silicon Valley. “The goal is not simply to be transparent, but to change the face of technology so that its leadership, workforce and business partnerships mirror the world in which we live,” Jackson wrote in a letter asking 27 technology companies including Apple, Facebook and Airbnb for more detailed information on diversity.


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