Let’s Teach Our Girls (And Boys) To Code

By Josh Miles, CMO

I enrolled in exactly one coding class. The year was 1999 and I was a senior at Purdue University. I attended exactly one lecture. And after thumbing through the textbook, I dropped the class the very next day. I kept the book and taught myself how to write simple HTML, creating my very first portfolio website.

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That spring, with the help of my new website, I landed an art director position at an advertising agency in Indianapolis.

The level of HTML experience required for the job: zero. I didn’t even consider myself a coder. Far from it. Yet the exposure and practice of building that one website gave me the confidence to land my very first professional position.

According to the department of labor, over 600,000 tech-related jobs went unfilled in 2015. This isn’t a lack of great jobs, it’s a lack of qualified applicants. How much more might that be the case in 2030, when my daughter Meg graduates from Purdue. (See what I did there?)

When it come to coders, we have a nation-wide supply problem, which is why I’m so excited about Codelicious. Codelicious is a Carmel, Indiana-based startup, focused on teaching code in schools to youths and teens. In addition to my role at MilesHerndon, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be serving as their CMO, overseeing brand strategy and messaging for all marketing initiatives.

Today my daughter isn’t a much of a coder. She loves art, playing Minecraft, making stop-motion videos on my old iPhone, and hand-customizing her Littlest Pet Shop toys.

On the surface, this may not appear to be the demographics of a future tech professional, but I felt like the iPhone and Minecraft connections might be enough to spark interest. And I was right.

Meg and I had the opportunity to attend a free Codelicious evening event earlier this year. They explored basic HTML, Scratch, Photoshop, discussed coding concepts, and even played with LittleBits to reinforce the theories with physical objects.

Meg was hooked. Her five-year-old little brother won’t be far behind her.

But no matter where she ends up, I’m convinced that her exposure to coding, technology, and leadership will give her the confidence to pursue anything she chooses.

How can your kids experience Codelicious? Today, it’s easiest to find a Codelicious camp near you, but if you’re anything like me, you probably wish this was something she could get during the school day...

Well, that’s exactly what Codelicious aims to do.

Over the next six months, our goal is to introduce our coding platform and instructional model to more public, private, and charter schools for grades 3-12. We’re starting with central Indiana, and then branch out to more markets.

So if you or your kids are interested, visit Codelicious.com to learn more. Better yet, let us know who we should contact at your school to start talking about bringing Codelicious to your specials or elective classes.

Shouldn’t we be teaching our girls and boys to be the leaders of tomorrow’s tech firms? I hope you’ll join our efforts at Codelicious.

Link: 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-teach-our-girls-boys-code-josh-miles/