Valve's Newell and Electronic Arts Promote "Hour of Code"

Valve's Newell and Electronic Arts Promote "Hour of Code"

Gabe Newell speaks to students to promote the Hour of Code, a challenge for students to learn about coding.

More and more people in the industry are calling for students in elementary, middle, and high school to learn how to code. CODE.org, a non-profit computer science advocacy group, gave students a chance to ask Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell about his experiences in the industry. The talk kicked off CODE.org's "Hour of Code" campaign to challenge students to spend an hour learning the basics of coding.

CODE.org offers online tutorials for beginning programmers and features games young students are more like to be familiar with, such as Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. The non-profit reports that over 10 million people so far have learned one hour of coding.

Electronic Arts announced it will give away a free PC game via Origin - including Bejewled 3, FIFA Soccer 13, SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition, and Plants vs. Zombies -- to elementary and middle school students who complete CODE.org's 20-hour training course.

CODE.org has resources for both teachers hoping to get students interested in computer science and tutorials for students of various levels. One tutorial teaches core programming logic and is designed for people as young as 4 years old. A middle school tutorial teaches Python programming, and high school students are encouraged to build an iPhone game.

Coding is a valuable skill. Even if you don't end up becoming a programmer, there are inherent problem-solving skills needed for life that you can develop through practice of coding.

Source: Joystiq

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roseofbattle:
Even if you don't end up becoming a programmer, there are inherent problem-solving skills needed for life that you can develop through practice of coding.

This can't be overstated enough. The most important skill to almost any career is critical thinking, which is the lynchpin of programming. I don't care if any of these kids go on with code, it's just good that they're being asked to use their friggin brains.

Man, I feel like such a competent programmer. I don't actually know how to Python but apparently it's the recommended Middle School level. I really should get around to learning Python at some point, but I've never needed to for a class and I like C# well enough so I just never bothered.

EA go away, leave everything to Gabe he knows what to say.

Sofus:
EA go away, leave everything to Gabe he knows what to say.

EA were the ones giving away the free games for students who attended, it's not all bad.

OT: Really good to see this happen, programming in this age is extremely important so it's good to get children involved young.

Good on both Gaben and EA. The future of computing is limitless. I'm a computer scientist myself, although I'm not sure if I'll stay in the program or switch to IT, but for now, I'm here, and I'm glad I am.

I swear my physics teacher showed us this same video for a short programming unit... three months ago. It's okay, Escapist. I forgive you for any old news.

Anyway, programming seriously should be mandatory, at least one year. I only got one week, and I could see how useful it would be. Not nearly as hard to pick up as it seems, either.

Falterfire:
Man, I feel like such a competent programmer. I don't actually know how to Python but apparently it's the recommended Middle School level. I really should get around to learning Python at some point, but I've never needed to for a class and I like C# well enough so I just never bothered.

Python's really more of a convenience language, as far as I'm concerned: it's really easy to write quick, dirty code to do an arbitrary task, but for proper development I would stay away: it's absurdly slow for doing any real computations. Just to give an example, a program I had that took a little over a minute to finish when it was written in Python, took less than 2 seconds to finish when written in C (Objective C, specifically, but it's basically the same).

It is convenient as a scripting language though, and its lack of pointers make life VERY easy.

I feel old now. I dont know how to program. sure i programmed some NPCs in XML and LUA scripts for a gameserver, and i dabbled in some python scripts for one program, but thats really about it and most of that was looking at somone elses ideas and adapting it for my own gain. Sure i did SOME macro writing for excel lately, but i dont even count that as programming.

Do we really need everyone to know programming though?

Strazdas:
Do we really need everyone to know programming though?

No, not everyone. But as technology becomes more pervasive in our society, we need more and more people who actually understand how it works, instead of panicking if an icon is not where they were taught it should be, and treating it as some kind of magic.

And if it causes more kids to start creating stuff, great! The world has too many consumers already.

mruuh:

Strazdas:
Do we really need everyone to know programming though?

No, not everyone. But as technology becomes more pervasive in our society, we need more and more people who actually understand how it works, instead of panicking if an icon is not where they were taught it should be, and treating it as some kind of magic.

And if it causes more kids to start creating stuff, great! The world has too many consumers already.

Ah, so i guess what we need is so called "Power Users". Not programmers, but not the kind of people that will take scissors to the DVD if it doesnt fit in.

 

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