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.