On June 29, 2007 the first iPhone was released by Steve Jobs. Later this fall, Apple is gearing up to launch its iPhone 8 with its embedded ‘Touch ID’ as 2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. The company’s cash reserves are now more than $250 billion, according to CNN, which is bigger than companies like Coco-Cola, Disney or Walmart. For its iPhone 8, Apple is rumored to be testing more than 10 prototype iPhone models. In sharp contrast, however, around the world there is a huge shortage of coding education and most companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft have not involved themselves in building the next generation of coders, unlike foundations such as CoderDojo.
It is well known that these companies recruit their software engineers from the top colleges and institutes around the globe. Yet their investment in promoting computer education among the youth and school aged children has been found lacking acutely.
While it is not uncommon to see young kids playing with the latest smartphones and working in their laptops, PCs are not a particularly friendly environment for those who want to program. In the 1980s when there was a reduction of 8-bit machines there was also a dip in the number of kids who were programming. This subsequently led to lesser number of undergraduates and graduates who were into programming.
However there are certain companies like CoderDojo who believe that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world. They see that it’s a better idea to train because it is easier to learn skills at a young age. Therefore at Dojo any young person aged 7-17 can learn skills such as building a website, creating an app or game and explore technology in an informal, creative and social environment, supported by mentors.
In some major news, the CoderDojo Foundation is merging with the Raspberry Pi foundation in what many say will be a boost to new opportunities for young people getting into coding. By joining forces they expect to create the largest global effort to get young people into computing. It is expected that the Raspberry Pi Foundation which works on promoting youth coding will become a corporate member of the CoderDojo Foundation and provide practical, financial and other support. However the CEO of the Pi Foundation clarified that CoderDojo’s brand and ethos will definitely not be changing and that it would continue to be a neutral platform.
Since both of these ventures are non-profits, the merger makes sense. The Pi Foundations first merger happened in November 2015 with the UK based Code Club. While the giant technology companies have been short of promoting computer coding amongst the youth, these companies have a large army of volunteers, businesses, and foundations who have contributed expertise, time, and financial resources to train more young people in the future.
It is paradoxical that while the youth are surrounded by so much technology, yet software engineering skills are declining. While many people are satisfied with the newest tech, there are not many who are more interested in producing even though the probability of earning is huge as mentioned above. While it is common to see the youth busy with their PCs for chatting, using apps, or playing games it stands to reason that many more youth will take up computer coding in the future.