UPC Ireland research showcases importance of coding skills

David Baker
by David Baker on 17th October, 2014

Having coding skills is now considered to be an essential part of growing up, as the public views it as having equal importance to maths, science and languages – including Irish.

That is according to new research commissioned by UPC Ireland to coincide with EU Code Week, which found that two thirds of people share that viewpoint.

They listed coding skills as being on a level par with mainstream subjects such as business, geography, music, history, art, Irish, science, languages, maths and English.

More than one in three people see coding skills as ‘more important’ than Irish and one in five believes it to be ‘more important’ than maths.

CoderDojo initiative

The UPC Ireland research found that despite the positive sentiments towards coding, just under one in five people were aware of the CoderDojo initiative.

It aims to get children across Ireland actively involved in coding clubs, or ‘dojos’, that are run by local volunteers.

Three in four people said they would be interested in sending their children to such events, assuming groups or facilities existed locally.

Awareness of the CoderDojo initiative varied across the country, with some regions displaying higher levels of awareness than others.

UPC Ireland, in partnership with CoderDojo, recently announced plans to create ten more CoderDojos across Ireland during the coming year.

A CoderDojo near the broadband provider’s head office in Sandymount, Dublin is particularly popular, with children as young six part of a more than 50-strong group taking part.

Anna-Maria Barry, a UPC staff volunteer at the CoderDojo and also Corporate Communications General Manager for UPC Ireland, described the research as “positive” but added there is “some way to go” yet.

“Our goal is to enable CoderDojo to reach more and more young people, giving them the opportunity to learn coding skills that will help them become the next generation of creators and innovators,” she explained.

“Many children come to our local CoderDojo in the afternoon after they’ve already enjoyed sports, so it’s a winning combination where they can also exercise their minds with a digital skill set that will undoubtedly contribute to their lives for the future.”

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