Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

EU Code Week: Bringing ideas to life with #codeEU

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The third edition of EU Code Week will take place 10-18 October 2015. Millions of children, young adults, adults, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and policymakers will again come together in events and classrooms across Europe to learn to create with code.

"Digital skills are essential for a true Digital Single Market and help us understand how our increasingly connected world is built. Coding is not just about computer programming, it's also about improving problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity which are needed for the jobs of today and the future." Andrus Ansip, DSM Vice-President.

The idea is to show how you can bring ideas to life with code, to make programming more visible, demystify these skills and bring motivated people together to learn. If you are a school, a kid, a coder, a young adult, a parent, teacher, a business – now is the time to start planning your Code Week event and put it on the codeweek.eu map.

Alessandro Bogliolo, leader of the EU Code Week team of 90 volunteers said: "From the beginning of time we did many things using stone, iron, paper and pencil that have transformed our lives. Now we live in a different era where our world is moulded in code. Different eras have different jobs and skills demand. During CodeWeek we want to give every European the opportunity to discover coding and have fun with it. Let’s learn coding to shape our future"

EU Code Week is a grass-root movement run by volunteers who promote coding in their countries as Code Week Ambassadors. The initiative was launched in 2013 by the Young Advisors for the Digital Agenda. Last year more than 150,000 people participated in 4,200 coding events in 36 countries in Europe and beyond

As part of its strategy for a Digital Single Market, the European Commission is supporting EU Code Week and other independent initiatives which aim to boost digital skills, including programming, for different target groups. The Commission will also address digital skills and expertise in future initiatives on skills and training and will develop a digital skills strategy.

How can you participate in EU Code Week?

  • Kids/teenagers/adults can participate in coding events and organise their own events to show others how you create with code.
  • Coders can organise workshops in local schools, hack spaces or community centres
  • Teachers who code can hold coding classes, share their lessons plans, organise workshops for colleagues
  • Teachers who don't code can organise seminars or invite parents or students to teach each other coding
  • Parents can encourage their kids to participate in a coding workshop
  • Businesses and non-profit organisations can host coding workshops, lend their staff as coaches in a "back-to-coach" action, organise fun coding challenges for students or offer sponsorship for coding events
  • Everyone who participates in a coding activity can tell us about their experience and inspire others!

Why learn to code?

Today we live in a world that has been affected by rapid advances in technology. The way we work, communicate, shop and think has changed dramatically. In order to cope with these rapid changes and to make sense of the world around us, we need to not only develop our understanding of how technology works, but also develop skills and capabilities, that will help us to adapt to living in this new era.

Learning to code helps us to make sense of how things work, explore ideas and make things, for both work and play. What’s more it helps us to unleash our creativity and work collaboratively with wonderful people both near us and all over the world.

Basic coding skills will also be needed for many jobs in the nearest future. 90% of professional occupations nowadays require some ICT competence. Moreover, ICT practitioners are a key pillar of the modern workforce across all sectors of the European economy, with demand growing annually by 3% and the number of graduates from computer science not keeping pace. 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 825,000 ICT professionals by 2020. 

EU Code Week background

EU Code Week has attracted the support of coding and education movements like CoderDojo and RailsGirls and of major tech and IT companies 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.

Under the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs Microsoft, SAP, Liberty Global and Facebook together with EU School have launched the EU Coding Initiative and many more Grand Coalition partners organise events during EU Code Week.

Following the popularity of the EU Code Week, Africa Code Week will be organised for the first time in 2015.  Led by a multi-stakeholder partnership, Africa Code Week will be taking place in 10 African countries with over 1,000 coding events for kids and adults expected across the continent.

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