Next week, a worldwide educational event called the Hour of Code will take place. Planned during the week of December 8 -14, 2014, the Hour of Code promotes computer programming and coding as valuable life skills that everyone from 4 to 104 should learn. Currently, over 56,000 Hour of Code events are planned internationally. But, the big question is: why should people learn how to code? While I could explain some of the benefits here, the Hour of Code has created a compelling video with tech superstars like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Bosh to share their opinions.
In the United States, the interest in computer science as a career is dismal. 90% of schools don’t teach computer programming at all and less than 1% of HS seniors took the AP Computer Science exam. Looking at collegiate statistics, less than 3% of college students graduate with a computer science degree, even though computer programming jobs are growing at twice the national average. While the market for computer science trained graduates continues to increase, the actual number of computer science graduates has decreased over the last decade. The Hour of Code is one small effort to change that trend. Last year, almost 15 million people participated in the event. This year, the goal is to reach over 100 million individuals worldwide. But the event isn’t just limited to students. Almost anybody can plan an event. You can host one at your place of work or even at your home. Invite your friends and family and get your code on. Wondering where to start? The Hour of Code has prepared a quick event guide to help. You can also check out some of the blog posts I’ve written on coding recently.
The Hour of Code seeks to focus worldwide attention on coding and increase interest in coding and computer programming. Participation is easy. Simply go to hourofcode.org for more information or to host an event.