Why Programmers are the New Rock Stars

By Vince Matthews

William was 13 when he first got his hands on a computer. Jack was 8 years old when he got a Macintosh. Steven built a computer in his garage when he was 21.

William “Bill” Gates went on to start a software company called Microsoft. Jack Dorsey went on to create a social network called Twitter. And Steven? Steve Jobs went on to create… well, we all know what Mr. Jobs did.

For Bill, Jack and Steve, the computer was the door to a world of possibilities. And programming (or “coding”) was the key to unlocking that door.

Code.org’s “What Schools Don’t Teach” features a who’s who of techdom.

Creating the Future with Code
Drew Houston is one of the founders of Dropbox, an online cloud service with more than 100 million members. His company is only five years old and is already worth more than $5 billion. Like most tech luminaries, he started programming or “coding” at a very young age and understands that while programming may seem out of reach to some kids, it’s actually not.

Drew Houston on coding: “It’s really not unlike playing an instrument or playing a sport or something. It starts out being very intimidating but you get the hang of it over time.”

Gabe Newell, the founder of Value and Steam, was just a teenager when he discovered he was able to make a computer “do things.” He found the process “astonishing.”

Computers are everywhere. And while we depend on computers, apps and other technology for almost every aspect of our daily lives, only one in ten students know how to actually “write code” for them.

What is Code.org?
Code.org is a new initiative started by entrepreneurs Ali and Hadi Partovi. Their goal is to get U.S. schools to adopt more computer-science programs into their curriculum. Why? Because of the huge demand for programmers in the coming years. In fact, more than 1.4 million programming jobs (more jobs than they are students currently taking computer science courses in the U.S.) will be available in the next 7 years:

(Infographic: code.org)

“The realization is not enough people have these skills,” said Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook, who was in grade school when he started programming. “Whether you want to make a lot of money or just want to change the world, computer programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn.”

Where to Learn How to Code
DMA has many different programming camps. In them, students can learn C# or learn advanced Java™ programming. DMA’s programming camps are led by industry professionals or tech experts who have worked in computing and share real-world experience and practical insights with students.

STEM learning (based on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) is the educational foundation of Digital Media Academy. We believe it’s not only important to expose kids and teens to technology, it’s our mission. And by doing so, student campers at DMA get a world-class camp experience that can be life changing in many ways.