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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 07 2014, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the food-for-thought dept.

A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit Code.org's corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R's.

Code.org's curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade. But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science [PDF]. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984. The imbalance persists in the tech industry. Just this week, Google released data showing that women account for just 17 percent of its tech employees.

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there.

See also girlswhocode.com.

 
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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 09 2014, @11:51PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:51PM (#53471) Journal

    I personally know more 'coders' that learned on their own, than 'coders' who learned in school.(defining 'coders' as those that are employed as 'coders', not as a hobby)

    Really? What industry are you in? I'm with a consulting company, doing big corporate stuff I'm not really supposed to talk about (nothing exciting; retail pharmacy crap) and so far I'm the *only one* I've run into here that actually codes as a hobby. Everyone else seems to be here to just get a paycheck to go buy a big TV to watch the football game or something. Although to be fair, I'm only here to get a paycheck to buy lumber and solder and such :)

    When you talk to newer people here about what the big differences are between what we do here and what they've done in the past, one of the big ones you always get is that *they've never used a command-line interface before*! There mere fact that I've run Linux on my home systems for a while seems to make me one of the top Unix coders at this site...

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