It’s Computer Education Science Week (December 9-15), seven days dedicated to promoting computer science through education. The weeklong initiative is being supported by multiple organizations, including code.org and Digital Media Academy. The mission? Inspire kids to learn computer programming.
Cracking the Code
Why is learning computer programming so important? Computers are part of almost every aspect of our lives. Technology continues to make our lives better and it’s not going away. It’s estimated more than 1.4 million programming jobs will become available within the next 7 years. There are more of these jobs than students currently students taking computer science courses! Here are a few other stats to consider:
- Computer Science is the second highest-paying college degree.
- Less than 2.4% of college students graduate with a computer science degree.
- Only one in ten students knows how to write computer code.
The Code Challenge
So what are you waiting for? Get coding! Code.org is a non-profit founded specifically to encourage kids and teens to learn to code (write computer programs). Code.org (of which DMA is a member) is supporting the week with the Hour of Code program, where kids can learn to code completing interactive programming lessons (and even physical ones that don’t require a computer) that teach the basics of computer programming.
The objective is simple: Spend an hour creating or learning code. And coding has never been more accessible. There are more programming tools to teach with and to learn from, and more programming languages than ever before.
Computers, and for that matter, computer programming, aren’t just for guys. Now girls are becoming computer programmers, too. Girls like Ruchi Sanghvi. She was the first female engineer hired at Facebook and was the main developer for Facebook’s news feed. Ruchi graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Computer Engineering.
Grace Hopper, who Google celebrated with a Google doodle, was one of the first women in computer programming. Known as “Grandma Cobol,” Hopper coined the term “debugging” (she found an actual moth in the computer) when she was working as a research fellow at Harvard on the very first computer (the Mark I), way back in 1945. She also created the COBOL programming language.
Getting Started in Programming
If you want to know where you can learn to write computer programs, you’ve come to the right place. Digital Media Academy offers programming camps for teens and programming camps for kids at universities across the U.S. and Canada. DMA can get you started programming in no time. In the meantime, check out some of the programming lessons offered by code.org – the great thing is that you don’t have to know how to program to get started!
Don’t believe us? Ms. Hopper appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and talked about her experience programming computers. “How did you know so much about computers?” asked Letterman. “I didn’t.” Ms. Hopper deadpanned. “It was the first one.” Get started coding today!