The next generation of Australian technology professionals were recently involved in Microsoft’s #WeSpeakCode campaign. More than 7,000 students attended nationally.
With the next generation of Australian leaders still in high school, many are in the process of gaining the skills they will require in their future careers, especially in the area of technology. While these students might be experts on PS4s, iPads and smartphones, it is the lack of technical computer training that has some industry insiders concerned.
According to recent research from Microsoft, Australian students are behind their Asia-Pacific counterparts in relation to coding training. In fact, under a third (32 per cent) noted in the survey they’d been given the chance to learn coding in school – the lowest figure recorded in APAC region.
Microsoft also uncovered, two out of three students want to learn more about coding and how it fits into a career in technology. Unfortunately, many aren’t given the opportunity.
In response to these findings, Microsoft Australia launched its YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode campaign. Over May 11-15, more than 7,000 Australian students were given a taste of what coding is, through school and community events, tutorials and online activities.
Inspired by the international movement Code.org, the campaign aims to give students the information to begin learning code and realise how important it could be to their future career.
The week concluded on May 15 with more than 800 students attending an event in the Great Hall of the University of Technology Sydney. Representing more than 30 local schools, the students were led through various activities involving coding applications and basic coding language.
Managing Director of Microsoft Australia Pip Marlow explained coding is the key to technological change and it is important that our children learn this valuable skill.
“Through the use of code, computer programmers are working on amazing and innovative new ideas, using technology to improve the way we live, consume and interact with people from around the world,” she said in a May 15 media statement.
“Microsoft’s YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode week is really shining a light on the power and possibilities of coding for thousands of young Australians who are increasingly discovering how rewarding it can be.”
Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull was a guest at the Sydney event and noted the need for further events moving forward.
“Improving the technology skills of students is essential for Australia to remain competitive and prosperous in a globalised world,” he stated.
“We need to expose more students to coding so they are inspired to create, build and develop new technologies rather than just being passive users of it.”
With the seed of computer coding set in the minds of many young Australians, the countdown to next year’s event is already on.