Programming has become a global language in favor of achieving the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations.
The third edition of enlightED Virtual Edition 2020, a global conference on education, technology, and innovation, took place on October 23. The conference was a great success. Not only for the organizing institutions such as Fundación Telefónica, IE University and more, but especially for a growing educational community where innovation and transformation have become a commonplace.
As some of the speakers at the conference exposed, “education is the path, not the goal,” “education and culture are our passport to the future,” and “education is the basis of the human species’ evolution.” Beyond any belief, the importance of technology in programming and education sectors has been stressed by the virtual edition of enlightED as well as the current situation caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Programming has become the new language future generations will need to speak in order to solve increasingly complex problems. For example, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations.
Programming is everywhere
Each of the 17 SDGs involve several strategies yet to be designed and implemented by citizens and companies around the world. Technology and especially programming will play an essential role as their presence will be found everywhere.
There is no activity branch without programming being present. This entails from health, education, industrial processes, logistics, or banking to the most artistic disciplines.
The most optimistic forecasting anticipates that only in Europe over 1.6 million programmers will be needed by 2030. Said number is the equivalent to the population in Barcelona. So, how will such an important goal be achieved?
Programming to become a core subject
This, of course, depends on programming being categorized as the pending subject in all the European educative system, from elementary school to continuous training. With programming, it occurs the same as with language learning: the earlier, the better.
Introducing programming from a young age grants future professional callings and positive attitudes towards logic. It also helps to differentiate the subject from scientific ones.
There are initiatives working on this, such as Code.org (a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools). The courses offered by Code.org are followed by tens of millions of students and over a million teachers. Since there is enough available content, tools, and will, it is clearly demonstrated that programming can be a core subject.
At the enlightED conference, Hadi Partovi (Code.org’s CEO) stated that “language teachers are the future computer science teachers because there is a great similarity between the two subjects.”
According to Partovi, programming is the third preferred subject after music and dance. It is based on a recent survey among children aged between 5 and 12 in the United States. Children are passionate about computers.
Learning to learn, the basis of programming
Without a doubt, those children will play the main role of the second half of the century. They’ll also be the ones who continue with the SDG’s challenges, such as filling the void of companies in need of programmers or the creation of new technological solutions. Those children will also need continued training along their careers to keep up with the constant changes in the technology world. Learning to learn will be key.
For this, Fundación Telefónica launched in September 2019 a groundbreaking educational project called 42 at its Madrid headquarters. It is an open campus for anyone who wants to learn programming without any prior knowledge. It is completely free, and it is based on a peer-to-peer learning practice. Another 3 campuses are scheduled to open next year. This way, the possibility to continue learning will be broadened.
From Fellow Funders we believe that companies who apply ESG criteria will require an intensive technological use and, consequently, talented programmers as well.
Undoubtedly and paraphrasing Josefina Aldecoa, programming will become “the world’s frame.”