CoderDojo event at CodeClan

Can Coding Really Change the World?

As the digital world continues to grow and shapeshift at a dizzying pace, we look at ways in which coding might already be making your life easier, and changing your world in ways you hadn’t perhaps realised…

Coding is empowering people

“Thanks to the volunteer mentors and Dojo leaders who share their knowledge and skills, there are now 16 Dojos across Scotland where young people are able to learn about coding in a fun and sociable environment,” says Claire Quigley, project officer for CoderDojo Scotland.

“As of the end of last year, 55% of participants of the 6 newest Dojos came from areas of high deprivation. We’ve also implemented a number of strategies which have increased the number of girls taking part in the clubs. This helps move towards a situation where young people, regardless of gender or circumstances, are able to get their ideas out into the world.

The ability to make their ideas ‘real’ by using code to create websites, apps, and other tools makes it possible for the young people attending CoderDojos to have an effect on an increasingly digital world. Many of them are combining coding with existing interests in music, sports, writing and politics, both individually and with friends they’ve made at Dojos.”

Coding is letting people shift careers

CodeClan students coding togetherThanks to the emergence of coding academies around the world, it’s becoming easier for people to retrain and arm themselves with new skills. By learning to become a programmer or developer, CodeClan’s 16-week course in coding has already helped students gain digital skills that let them transition into the world of tech and – crucially – find jobs at the end of it. The career opportunities in tech are broad, with professional roles in gaming, creative design, banking and education, to name a few. Here is a small selection of careers available to those with digital skills, and some of it’s pretty well paid too…

Coding gets quick results

Coding is your chance to make an impact,” says Claire Gillespie, key sector manager for ICT and digital technology skills at Skills Development Scotland.

“Software written in the morning can be used in the afternoon, meaning you see the results of your work straight away. Individuals and businesses all over Scotland are creating game-changing products and technological innovations with digital at their heart. And in the same way that being able to write helps people create and share stories, being able to code lets you be part of that and create your own digital technology. As well as learning a practical skill, which is highly sought after in the jobs market, coding also helps you develop your problem solving and logical thinking. More and more people are gaining digital skills, opening up incredible opportunities in global growth areas such as big data, cloud computing and mobile development as well as cutting edge health tech and cyber security.”

Coding is giving children new skills

Computer Xplorers sessions

Pic: Tom Finnie (24.10.2012)
Lynne Kerr, from Computer Xplorers, explains Scratch to SP6 students from Dalry Primary, Edinburgh.

“We have made coding more accessible by showing primary school aged children that our specially designed programmes combine serious learning with fun. It’s what we do,” says Lynne Kerr, director of ComputerXplorers South East Scotland.

“ComputerXplorers programming and coding classes inspire children to develop and broaden their computing skills alongside a wide range of technology classes from 3D animation and modelling to Minecraft and web design – all with computational thinking, creativity and critical thinking at their core.”

Coding is making daily life easier

Instead of rummaging in the bottom of a handbag for loose change, bus passengers can flash an e-ticket on their phone at the bus driver instead. Electricity bills can be paid online, gourmet burgers can be delivered to people’s front door with a few clicks, smartphone maps can help tourists navigate their way to their hotels, which they’ve also booked up using a price comparison portal… The digital impact on everyday life is now enormous.

Coding is doing good deeds

The tech world has a conscience too, and a growing number of digital apps and companies are helping to give something back. From ethical smartphones, to online hubs for social change and companies that are ploughing their profits back into good causes, computing has a caring sharing side too.