The rise and rise of coding skills

by L&D03 Jun 2016
If you think learning how to code is just for software or web specialists, you’re in for a shock.   

In fact, the trend is being embraced by everybody from school children to lawyers.

Indeed, attorneys at the Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin have been learning to code and design apps and smart contracts for clients.

This includes learning from Taylor Gerring, a co-founder and advisor to the Ethereum Foundation, about how to deploy, interact with and prototype business logic in smart contracts. 

The smart contracting training sessions follow some coding clinics the firm recently held to teach lawyers to use core coding languages to produce new applications.

“These workshops put Gilbert + Tobin at the forefront in terms of capabilities, imagination and technical understanding of our legal team,” said Gilbert + Tobin’s Innovation Officer, Simon Gilchrist.

“At the conclusion of the workshop, our lawyers will have the capability to create smart contracts.

“They should have a detailed knowledge of the practical issues involved in blockchain and smart contract systems, enabling them to advise on advanced uses of decentralised systems and, ideally, develop smart contract based applications for a range of purposes.”

Meanwhile, coding has already been identified as a skill that’s worth nurturing in young people.

Indeed, the provider of school holiday programs Code Camp has already helped more than 4,300 Australian school students learn coding skills and aims to reach 25,000 students by 2018. 

Code Camp Co-founder and CEO, Benjamin Levi, said learning to code is about more than becoming a developer.

“It allows students to be creative with technology, develop logical thinking and problem solving skills and an understanding of computational thinking,” said Levi.

“Through app building, students learn about game design, user experience and the entrepreneurial mindset. These skills can be adapted to any industry.”

Code Camp are being sponsored by Westpac Group, and their Chief Information Officer, Dave Curran, said early engagement with primary and high school students in technology is vital for the next generation of Australians to succeed in the digital age.

"With Australia transitioning to a knowledge and ideas economy, we recognise the increasing importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills to the jobs of the future,” said Curran.

“Code Camp do a terrific job in engaging young people with technology at a young age, giving them extra skills to take back to the classroom and, perhaps, inspiring them for a career in technology.”

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