Learn about Coding at SF World Tour: Melbourne
Author: John Westgarth, State Manager, Digital Careers program (NSW/ACT)
‘Learning to code’ initiatives are gaining traction all over the world – and Australia is no different. Around the country, governments, industry, educators and schools are turning their attention to the benefits of promoting technology and associated science and mathematics courses in schools. For those in the tech industry, these initiatives could not come sooner.
In 2014 Seek.com, the Australian online jobs platform, announced that tech companies became the largest advertisers for skilled workers. However with only 5% of high school leavers graduating from computer subjects and university enrolments sitting at just 50% of the numbers recorded in 2001, roles are becoming difficult to fill.
The benefits of learning to code are many and varied. At its most basic, learning to code supports students move from passive consumers of technology to actual creators – people capable of using technology to deliver their ideas. Learning to code also gives students lifelong confidence with technology – whether it’s the basic editing of a website, building an app, working with hardware or having the skills to work in teams to solve customer problems.
Digital Careers is an Australian based not-for-profit focused on encouraging young people into further technology studies and careers. We work with students to promote technology careers, support teacher professional development and run engaging activities that expose students to the benefits of coding and technology. The program is actively supported by a number of stakeholders including Commonwealth and State governments, major universities, educators, technology companies and technology associations.
In 2014 Digital Careers supported Code.org with Australia’s Hour of Code efforts (including a great session at Salesforce’s Sydney office), ran Bebras – Australia’s first online computational thinking challenge (involving 10,000 students), and worked with SAP to deliver the Young ICT Explorers technology challenge.
Salesforce World Tour Melbourne
In 2015, we are excited to attend The Salesforce World Tour in Melbourne – representing the learning to code movement along with a couple of other organisations:
CoderDojo: an open source, volunteer led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. CoderDojo has recently opened its first Dojo in Melbourne and is already giving young people the confidence to build and deliver tech projects.
Code Club Australia: a nationwide network of free volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club Australia runs a well-coordinated curriculum teaching students basic coding (through Scratch), HTML, CSS and Python.
If you are at the World Tour we would love to talk to you about how you can be involved in this nationwide drive to support students learning to code. We strongly believe that coding, and technological competence, is a lifelong skill that will benefit all students. We also believe that more can be done to improve the diversity of people working in the sector. This means encouraging and supporting increased female participation as well as working with students from underserved communities.
Looking forward to meeting you all in a few weeks.
John Westgarth is the State Manager for the Digital Careers program (NSW/ACT). John is passionate about technology, education, youth empowerment and developing partnerships that have a positive community impact.
Follow and join in the conversation around the Salesforce World Tour Melbourne! #SalesforceTour @Salesforceapac
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