Last year, almost one million people (970,000) took part in one of the 23,000 EU Code Week 2016 events that took place in more than 50 countries around the world – a 70% increase in participants from 2015. Almost half (46%) of the people creating with code were girls or women and the average age of a coder was 11 years. 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of Europe Code Week, which will take place during two weeks – 7-22 October – to cater for different periods of school holidays in European countries.

Slide showing rows of people with text Code Week 2016 New record of participants 970.000 coders

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market said: "I am happy that this grassroots movement has grown so popular, especially since coding is becoming increasingly important in today's world. Confidence and creativity in using digital technologies are essential for everyone in Europe to participate fully in our digital society. Moreover, basic coding skills will most likely become indispensable for the future jobs."

Alessandro Bogliolo, EU Code Week coordinator said: "I'm amazed by the effect that CodeWeek 2016 produced in thousands of schools, where teachers and pupils shared passion and creativity to learn and have fun together. The fifth anniversary of CodeWeek will be a great opportunity to increase and consolidate the impact of this game changer initiative."

In addition to the nearly million people who coded under the EU Code Week umbrella in some 50 countries, another 430,000 young Africans in 30 countries were introduced to coding as part of the second Africa Code Week, which is a public/private/non-profit partnership.

EU Code Week is a grassroots movement that was created by the Young Advisors to the Digital Agenda in 2013. The goal is to show that anyone can create and build things with code – just as we do with stones, bricks, clay and wood. The initiative also wants more people to learn computational thinking, understand how computers work and get different groups – teachers, engineers, business, schools, non-profit organisations – together to offer more coding opportunities for young and old.

Young people and schools very active

Thousands of events took place both outside and in schools and engaged young people in coding, working with hardware and robots or in other ways practicing computational thinking during EU Code Week.

1,833 of the schools took part in the CodeWeek4All challenge, which aims at introducing children to coding in the classroom. More than a third of the schools (692) reached the goal of involving more than half their students – or at least 200 of them – in a coding activity. They will receive the "Certificate of excellence in coding literacy" from the European Commission.

EU Code Week's fifth anniversary: 7-22 October 2017

EU Code Week celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2017. To make it easier for schools to participate despite differences in holiday periods in Europe, EU Code Week will take place during two weeks 7-22 October. It is already time to start planning your coding event. Get in touch with partners, book rooms, find coaches… Participants of all ages will flock to all Code Week events. There are toolkits, lesson plans and guides available on the EU Code Week website, to make the organisation of events easier.

Background

The fourth edition of EU Code Week took place 15-23 October 2016. It brought together children, teenagers, adults, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and policymakers in events and classrooms across Europe to learn to create with code.

The initiative was launched in 2013 by the Young Advisors for the Digital Agenda for Europe. The movement has grown fast. In 2013 10,000 people tried coding, in 2014 more than 150,000 people participated, in 2015 570,000 people and in 2016 970,000 expanded their digital skills.

The EU Code Week movement is led by ambassadors who volunteer their time coordinating coding events in their countries, but anyone can organise a programming workshop and add it to the codeweek.eu map. The European Commission supports EU Code Week, by helping with communication, as part of its strategy for a Digital Single Market.

Useful links