During National Coding Week, September 14-20, it’s time to bring coding and digital literacy to everybody in a fun and engaging way. Learning digital skills and gaining more knowledge about it helps us make sense of the rapidly changing world around us. The week also encourages us to nurture increasingly essential coding expertise in order to close the skills gap in the United States. This makes for a difficult dynamic, as 92 percent of executives believe American workers are not as skilled as they need to be. Get inspired by the development of coding and computational thinking skills in order to explore new ideas and innovate for the future!
History of National Coding Week
The idea and grassroots movement for National Coding Week began in the UK, founded by former headteacher Richard Rolfe and tech entrepreneur Jordan Love, who was appointed EU Code Week Ambassador for the UK. It took place during the week of September 21, 2014, intending to help adults improve their digital literacy to fill the growing skills gap in the country.
But what is coding, and where did it begin? Coding is the process of using a programming language to get a computer to behave the way we want it to. Every line of code tells our machines to do something. A document full of lines is called a script, which is designed to carry out a specific job on the computer.
Ada Lovelace, Countess of Lacelace, was an English mathematician and writer who introduced many computer concepts during the 1840s and is generally considered the first computer programmer. She spent 1842 and 1843 translating an article written by the famous mathematician, Charles Babbage, who wanted to use changeable punch cards to store programs on his invention, the Analytic Engine, which was the first computer. She predicted that one day the theoretical computer would be able to play music, as well as chess, which came true! The programming language “Ada” is honorably named after her.
The process of coding began in 1954 when the company Hollerith formed what would one day evolve into International Business Machines (IBM). IBM gave birth to the first-ever high-level programing language when a team led by John Backus invented FORTRAN (i.e. FORmula TRANslation). FORTRAN was originally developed for scientific and engineering programs. It is still used to this day. This programming language gave way to many of the higher-level ones modern programmers use now, such as HTML and C++.
Now, coding is a language that is increasingly important for young people and adults to understand in the globalized world. It can be an intimidating project, which means National Coding Week is the time to help people understand coding and its importance.
National Coding Week timeline
National Coding Week in the UK gains coverage and support in the EU and US after prominent business leaders offer support to National Coding Week including Brian Doll VP of GitHub, Prince Andrew, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and Tim Lovejoy.
Codecademy, an American online interactive platform, begins offering free coding classes in 12 different programming languages across the globe.
GNU (Which stands for "GNU's Not Unix!") project is formed by Richard Stallman in an attempt to reinvent the free and open software community that was once abundant in programming.
Ada Lovelace, the daughter of famed Romantic poet Lord Byron, translates articles for the first computer.
National Coding Week FAQs
What is the coding hour?
The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.
Can I learn coding in a week?
It doesn’t take as much time to learn to code as you think. It can take a matter of months or even weeks if you’re truly dedicated.
How many hours in a week should I code?
In short, it stated that in order to achieve world-class status in any field, you need to practice the right way for 10,000 hours. You need to practice a craft, like programming, for 40 hours per week.
National Coding Week Activities
Sign up for free coding classes
Begin to learn to code or grow your skills by signing up for Codecademy’s free and membership classes. Since its founding in 2011, Codecademy has sought not only to reinvent the online coding education space but to build the first truly net native education system. Taking cues from modern tech innovators, Codecademy is rethinking education from the bottom up through an engaging educational experience that doesn’t focus so heavily on the “sage on a stage” format found in most U.S. classrooms! Give it a try and hone in on some useful skills.
Close the skills gap
A recent survey found 92% of executives think that American workers aren't as skilled as they need to be. As a result, nearly half (45%) feel that they are missing out on growth opportunities, while 34% feel that product development is suffering, and 30% think that company profits are being hurt. Companies have to either operate without certain skill sets that they really need or invest in training and upskilling their staff, which can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor, especially when considering the types of skills that are lacking.
Learn about amazing coders
There have been incredible programmers in American history who made it what it is today. Learn about coders such as Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, an American computer scientist who “helped shape the digital era”. He created the C programming language and with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system.
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again, The first programmer in the world was a woman named Ada Lovelace who worked on an analytical engine back in the 1840s.
Coding is useful in most jobs
Recent studies have shown that over 70% of coding jobs are in fields outside of technology.
Bugs and viruses
The first computer virus was created in 1983 and The word computer “bug” was inspired by a real bug, founded by Grace Hopper in 1947.
The language of programming
There are over 700 different programming languages with the first, called Fortran, created in the 1950s.
Coding is good for our brains!
Learning to code has stunning cognitive-related benefits, such as problem-solving, computational thinking, analytical thinking, leadership-related skills, and even teamwork.
Why We Love National Coding Week
It opens new doors
Learning new skills such as coding can open new doors to people. We are increasingly moving into an online world and it is important that people do not miss out on opportunities to develop these skills, which have the potential to create employment opportunities.
It also encourages women
One of the aims of the week is to encourage women to get involved in coding, and since women have had a prominent role in the history of coding, this is a fantastic week to learn. Prominent businesswomen who work on public digital projects, such as Martha Lane Fox, are working to help bridge the gender gap in technology.
It helps us learn skills for the future
National Coding Week will help make generations of people more comfortable with coding, allowing them to embrace the business opportunities of the future.
National Coding Week dates