Event to encourage coding hits NZ, backed by Microsoft, Google

A week-long international event designed to encourage more people to learn to code starts today.

Man typing on keyboard. Source: Breakfast

"Hour of Code" is backed by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Last year 40 million people globally took part, including US President Barrack Obama and celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Dwight Howard. This year, the goal is to reach 100 million people.

During the week people are asked to spend one hour taking part in a simple online coding challenge. Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology is supporting the event in New Zealand, alongside Google Sydney.

CPIT department of computing tutor Amitrajit Sarkar helped develop the programme material for NZ, and says the event provides an easy introduction to coding.

"The tasks are fun and logic based. You can do them alone, work in pairs or form a team to solve them. We also have options for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up."

Mr Sarkar says while computers are everywhere, few people know how to create with code.

"All of us know that it's important for students to learn how to navigate today's tech-saturated world, but many people aren't experienced in computing and don't know where to start.

"This event is a chance for all of us to see what computing is about. We hope it'll spark interest in students and staffs alike to keep tinkering."

More information here