National Coding Week is an annual event which aims to help adults learn digital skills. This year it will be running from September 14th to the 20th. Coding is one of those words that has been banded around a lot in the last few years, it is probably a word that most people think has something to do with computers and they would never be able to understand how it works or what it is.

Facts about Coding:

Coding is how we tell computers what they are supposed to do for us. Computers follow a set of instructions (code) written by a programmer.

There are lots of different programming languages. You may have heard of Java, HTML or CSS. Each of these languages has a unique set of keywords and syntax for organising programming instructions.

Ada Lovelace was one of the first computer programmers. She worked with Charles Babbage, who invented the early mechanical computer called Analytical Engine. In 1843 Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program. In other words, an algorithm designed to be carried out by the machine.

Coding is essential in space travel. Spacecraft engineers often use old-fashioned computer systems because designing new ones is risky and expensive. The Space Shuttle (NASA’s spacecraft) was sent into space using a computer designed in the 70s. This used less code than most of today’s mobile phones!

As the world evolves so does the job market and the skills that are desirable. It is therefore key to develop skills in this developing area. The National Coding week website https://codingweek.org/ gives lots of links and ideas for ways to educate yourself in coding.

An interesting website is https://www.codecademy.com/ where you can begin to learn for free. There is a quiz that helps you to identify the type of role that would suit your personality – after completing the quiz it identified that I would suit being a Web Developer. It gave me some courses that would be useful to start my journey and that I could begin my learning with online.

After clicking on the link to start the career path courses, I was asked to sign up for the service. There was a free option and an option for the Pro membership for free if I was unemployed. This is designed to support individuals who have been made redundant through the Covid-19 Crisis. The courses are informative and help improve you coding and other digital skills.

Another site that is worth trying is https://www.freecodecamp.org/learn/ where there are a range of courses to build coding skills in coding language such as JavaScript and Python. There is also a very useful course on prepping for interviews in coding.

In terms of education for our younger generation, Coding has been part of the National Curriculum since 2014. This was bought in to support the change in future careers and to develop their understanding of a new language. Even in the first years of school, children develop an understanding of coding through building instructions and problem solving. They learn new language such as algorithm and debugging. As they develop their knowledge of the coding world, they start to build programs and learn the language of python and JavaScript.

Again, there is lots of support and online learning out there for children who are interested including

https://funtech.co.uk/

https://www.khanacademy.org/hourofcode

https://www.codewars.com/

https://dash.generalassemb.ly/

https://scratch.mit.edu/

So, if you are interested in coding have a look at some of the resources out there. Visit the Coding week website and enjoy learning to CODE.

#NationalCodingWeek