Make 2014 the summer you learn how to code!

Date: Mon, 08/04/2014 - 21:33

If the sun is getting too much, you've finished that book and crosswords have lost their magic — then why not make August 2014 the summer you learn a new digital language?
Make 2014 the summer you learn how to code!

In advance of EU Code Week, taking place across Europe 11-17 October 2014, here are a few ways you, your friends and family can learn how to code this summer.
Go on a programming camp

Just a taster of some of the activities which EU Code Week Ambassadors have on their menu in August
•    Estonia Kääriku, Otepää Parish, 11-15 August. Children aged 9 to 14 can learn how to programme in Scratch, robotics and use Kodu GameLab. In addition to digital activities there is plenty of time for sport and other team-building exercises. More information
•    Budapest, Hungary, 11-15 August. This camp is based on the 'Train the Trainer' ROBOTICS course.More information
•    Budaörs, Hungary, 20 June to 29 August. Weekly summer coding events for kids 8-15. More information

And there are many more out there to choose from:
- Try out coding taster-sessions and workshops, for example in

•    Lille, 20 and 27 August. Cyber-Espace de EuraTechnologies is offering two coding workshops where children 8-12 can learn scratch. The first Atelier Coding - Scratch (level 1) is happening on Wednesday 20 August, the second on Wednesday 27 August. More details and registration on +33 3 20 09 93 15 or via email
•    Dunkerque, 24 August. A Coding Goûter on 24 August will give participants the chance to try out various programming tools.
•    Düsseldorf, 30 August. Children between 4 and 9 are welcome to learn elementary programming with their parents. More information

- Learn some programming online
If you can't join a summer camp here are four ways of getting started (from the EU Code Week resources page).

- Coding lessons for beginners
•    Scratch is a free programming language targeting young people (but good for adults as well!) where you can create your own interactive stories, games and animations.
•    Codecademy: Learn to code interactively, for free.
•    Code School: Code School teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts.
• tutorials: Simple tutorials for beginners that can be completed in an hour or less.

- Full online courses available at
•    Coursera
•    MIT OpenCourseWare
•    Udacity
•    Khan Academy: fundamentals of programming in the JavaScript language and ProcessingJS library.

- Coding activities in Europe and the world
Two well-known initiatives are CoderDojo and Rails Girls, which are global volunteer-led community of free programming clubs for young people and women respectively.
At CoderDojos, young people between 7 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programmes, games and explore technologies. Rails Girls targets women who learn prototyping, basic programming and get introduced to the world of technology.
Another example is, a US-based industry-backed non-profit. Many international businesses (Telefonica, Google, Microsoft, Telerik etc.) also organise various coding activities.
Do you organise a coding activity? Add even if it does not take place during the Code Week in October. Over 100 events are already listed! You can also let @codeWeekEU know and we will share the news.

Commissioners back EU Code Week 11-17 October 2014 – Bring your ideas to life with coding
The second edition of EU Code Week will take place 11-17 October 2014. The idea is making coding more visible, demystify these skills, and bring motivated people together to learn. We aim at getting millions of children, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to come together in events and classroomsto learn programming and related skills.
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) have sent a joint letter to EU Education Ministers urging them to encourage children to get involved in EU Code week. "Promoting coding skills in Europe is part of the solution to youth unemployment," they say.
The initiative has attracted the support of coding and education movements like CoderDojo and Rails Girlsand of major tech and IT companies (e.g. Rovio, Microsoft, Telefonica, Liberty Global, Google and Facebook) who are all helping bring coding to millions of children for example by offering coding taster sessions, by developing learning modules and helping to train teachers.

How is EU Code Week organised?
In each country one or several EU Code Week Ambassadors have volunteered to be the main point of contact for Code Week, help spread the vision of the initiative and connect local coding communities and interested actors.
EU Code Week events are organised locally and published on a map the EU Code Week website by the organiser.

Why is coding important?
Each and every interaction between humans and computers is governed by code. Programming is everywhere and fundamental to the understanding of a hyper-connected world. Coding is the literacy of today.
Basic coding skills will also be needed for many jobs in the near future. More than 90% of professional occupations nowadays require some ICT competence. Moreover, the number of graduates in computer science is not keeping pace with this demand for skills. As a result many open vacancies for ICT practitioners cannot be filled, despite the high level of unemployment in Europe. If we do not appropriately address this issue at a European and national level, we may face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020. The share of women in choosing technical careers is also alarmingly low. Coding is a way to attract girls to choose tech careers.
Making ICT careers more attractive is one of the objectives of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

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