CC Jean-François CAUCHE

"In 15 years, we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing ... and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner." - Mark Zuckerberg

It seems like never a day goes by that we don’t use our smartphones, browse the web, or use some new gadget or other. Strangely though, we rarely stop to think how these devices work: the forces working quietly to bring our shiny new toys to life.

Most of us know that coding plays some part in all this. But few of us know exactly what part, or how. And therein lies the problem. We have become consumers of technology rather than creators. However, the future is definitely digital, and nowhere is this more true than the workforce.

To clarify, ‘code’ is the set of step-by-step directions that instruct computers or electronic devices to do something. These can tell the computer how to respond to a specific user, or environmental, input, whether that’s pressing a button or sensing motion.

In the UK alone, it is predicted that over the next five years, 1.4m digital professionals will be needed. But despite the growing demand for skilled candidates, as it stands two-fifths of EU citizens claim to have little or no ability when it comes to technology. Indeed, coding skills are only held by precious few people. This begs the question of how we can cope with the way the future is headed, if so few of us have the skills to keep up.

There is hope in today’s children who will form tomorrow’s workforce. It’s mind-boggling to think that 65% of students currently in primary school will one day go into jobs that don’t even exist yet! Today’s children must have the skills to cope with the job market they are set to inherit, which is why action is needed - and fast.

How can we ensure our children are ahead of the curve in an ever changing world? And what tools can we use to furnish them with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to flourish?

This hilarious advert from Virgin Media for their television services perfectly captures how technology literate the younger generations are in comparison to their parents!

Where do libraries come into all this?

Libraries play a vital role in helping people build their confidence in the digital world thanks to access to free Wi-Fi, computers, other technology and helpful staff with IT skills.

At the British Council library you can find everything from books on coding, to coding workshops for children and more. Take a look to our event calendar  for upcoming coding classes. 

Join the British Council Library today and become part of our digital future!

External links