MotionMobs Talk

Teaching our kids to code

MotionMobs is a very family-oriented company. Among our nine full-time, day-to-day employees, we have eight children. Since our livelihood revolves around the tech industry, we all highly value the skills necessary to work in our field. We will encourage and support any interest our kids show in learning how to code. Coding teaches logic skills and reinforces good learning and researching habits.

We recognize our kids have an unfair advantage, though, because most children don’t have parents who are developers. Not all parents will encourage their kids to learn how to code, and not all schools will present it part of the curriculum or even as an elective. When kids have an interest in learning something but their school and parents ignore it, most give up and find something else. When it comes to programming skills, this is potentially a massive problem for our society.

Why might this be a problem? Because US adults spend 4.7 hours per day attached to a mobile device. Americans spend over $500 million online every minute. The business world lives and breathes with technology. We predict that companies that refuse to adapt to the mobile and digital landscape will likely be out of business in five years because they’ve stopped reaching customers or they’ve made their employees’ jobs too tedious. That means every company needs someone who understands how apps work.

Student using ScratchOther skills that are crucial to keeping businesses running are commonplace in schools: math skills for money management, writing skills for communication, public speaking for presentations, critical thinking for strategy planning, and the list goes on. Compare that to schools teaching computer science. According to research from The App Association, in the Birmingham area, where our headquarters is located, a mere 4.25 percent of schools offer classes in computer science. In Atlanta, home to our second office, 50.82 percent of schools teach courses in computer science. No school would be allowed to simply not teach math or English. So why are they permitted to not teach computer science?

Not every student will be interested in learning to code, just like not every student will love learning about government or the environment. For those who are interested, though, they should have the chance to learn. There are just under 2,500 developers in Birmingham, so we can’t rely on tons of programmer parents around the city to pick up the slack. Without the offering support and channels for students to train for jobs in technology, we are setting the stage for countless businesses to fail because they can’t find talent.

Since we rely so heavily on technology, specifically mobile, in our everyday lives, it needs to be just as commonplace for a student to want to be a developer, analyst, or engineer as it is to want to be a lawyer, doctor, or accountant. The skills necessary for these careers should be introduced in school curriculum across the country, and the only way to do that is to change the legislation that determines what our students are learning.

We support expanding computer science education in schools. If you want to join us, let your representatives know that they are directly responsible for making this curriculum available for any student who is interested. The future of business in our country depends on it.

Not sure who your representative is? Find out here.

By Emily Hart