Software development to become part of the UK national curriculum

date: 3 June 2013
reading time: 2 min

Michael Gove was courting controversy few weeks ago when, in a speech he made at Brighton College, the education secretary seemed to criticise children who played computer games rather than learning to programme.  Like many programmers in their 30’s and 40’s and many of those who commented on Twitter, I too first became interested in computing and then programming through computer games.

Michael Gove was courting controversy few weeks ago when, in a speech he made at Brighton College, the education secretary seemed to criticise children who played computer games rather than learning to programme.  Like many programmers in their 30’s and 40’s and many of those who commented on Twitter, I too first became interested in computing and then programming through computer games. Interested in how they work I began trying to write my own software.

Controversy aside, I believe that what Michael Gove was really talking about in the speech is an excellent thing. The new national curriculum that will be introduced into all schools next year will include an overhaul of the ICT curriculum so that it includes more elements of actual computer science, including programming. Talking about the importance of coding skills Gove said, “One thing we can be certain of is that the acquisition of coding skills, the ability to think computationally and the creativity inherent in designing new programmes will help prepare all our young people better for the future.”

I think that at Future Processing we have really seen the benefits of teaching students to code well. We receive a lot of very positive comments from our clients about our technical skill levels, about the quality of our software, and also about the passion of our developers. All of these are largely due to our company culture, and we are able to foster this culture thanks – in no small part – to the education that our employees have received.

Most of our developers join us as recent computer science or other engineering graduates. Of course you would expect graduates from those disciplines to be able to code, but the foundation of these skills and the computational way of thinking goes further back than university. From their secondary school days most of them have been coding. This not only gives them a lot of experience and confidence. It also means software development is something they find exciting and fun and something they want to get into. For us having ‘coding on the curriculum’ has a direct, positive impact on our business and I hope it will for UK companies too.

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