Today, children in primary school are learning to understand and, to a certain extent, even use the language of computing. Most adults, on the other hand, have barely come to grips with programming. We had three questions for Danièle Castle, Programme Director of Education at The link will open in a new window digitalswitzerland, an initiative with around 130 members that wants to position Switzerland as a leading innovation hub.
Programming for everybody: is it really necessary?
Do we all need to learn the language of computing? We ask digitalswitzerland.
In your opinion, why is it important to learn about programming?
The goal is for adults to emulate primary school children and learn not just about programming, but also about computational thinking. This means the ability to present problems and their solutions in a way that can be understood and implemented by both humans and machines. According to the WEF report “The Future of Jobs”, the ability to solve complex problems will be an essential skill for the employees of the future.
Who should be trying to understand computational thinking, at least to some extent?
Everyone! Not just schoolchildren, but also employees and retirees. In our working life we need to understand how computers and artificial intelligence work, what algorithms and data are, and how they can be structured. It is currently believed that 65 percent of the occupations that will be practised by today's primary school children currently do not even exist.
Is coding the new English – a language that you need to at least understand in the world of business?
If you understand the basics of programming, you will learn to understand how the virtual world works. That is useful. But, as I said, we need a wide range of abilities today and in the future. As well as the ability to deal with and solve complex problems, these also include communication and team development skills.