Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Celebrities Team Up to Promote Coding

What do Microsoft inventor Bill Gates and music star Will.i.am have in common? They are just two famous people who have teamed up to create a YouTube video that promotes the idea that coding, an activity associated with computer programming, is cool and deserves attention.

Stoking the Desire to Learn

The video is focused on the idea that although many schools don't teach coding as part of regular coursework, students could aim to learn more through extracurricular activities, thus acquiring skills that could contribute to a brighter future. Coding is versatile, because it can be written in several programming languages such as Java and C++, among many others.

Technological opportunities are expanding at a rapid rate and many community colleges offer night classes in coding that cater to busy lifestyles. This means that both a Lancaster workers compensation lawyer and a chef who lives in Chicago are equally able to learn coding after their day job is done, provided the motivation is there. However, the YouTube video focuses more on the belief that coding should be taught in schools, while students are still young. It even calls the skill a “superpower.”

Ignore the Intimidation

The video addresses the common perception that coding is overly complicated. It also points out that as long as people are determined to learn, nothing can stop them.

In the video, NBA star Chris Bosh admits that while he was growing up, people made fun of him because of his interest in technology and coding. However, he was not deterred, and he continued studying the subjects to satisfy his hunger for knowledge. This promotes the idea that if a person feels that they’re not cut out to be a coder, or is getting negative feedback from a friend, that’s not a reason to stop learning something new.

The Marketability Factor

There are also a few themes in the video that relate to coding as being a way to stand out from competitors in the workforce. Economic downturns have made it more important than ever for a person to grow his or her skill set to meet demand. Even someone who already enjoys steady employment could branch out into coding as a side job, choosing to work on a freelance basis.

For the Greater Good

The video also positions coding as a way to change the world. As industries become increasingly technologically oriented, it makes sense that there could be more ways to use coding to help a large number of people simultaneously, just by pushing a button to activate the code.

Over the years, YouTube has already been responsible for hosting hundreds and possibly thousands of videos that ended up going viral. Perhaps this one will also help more people become aware that computer coding is a skill that could be beneficial for a lifetime.

It may be working: as of April 2013, the video has already been viewed over ten million times.