Estonia is teaching first graders how to create their own computer games and offering scholarships to entice more undergraduates into technology-driven disciplines. In England, an updated national curriculum will soon expose every child in the state school system to computer programming, starting at age five. The American “Hour of Code” effort says it has already persuaded 28 million people to give programming a try.
Around the world, students from elementary school to the Ph.D. level are increasingly getting acquainted with the basics of coding, as computer programming is also known. From Singapore to Tallinn, governments, educators and advocates from the tech industry argue that it has become crucial to hold at least a basic understanding of how the devices that play such a large role in modern life actually work.
Such knowledge, the advocates say, is important not only to individual students’ future career prospects, but also for their countries’ economic competitiveness and the technology industry’s ability to find qualified workers.