Young coders assembled at Buckingham Palace on Monday 23rd June in order to showcase their work to the Duke of York as part of a competition designed to find the best programmers under the age of 18 in the UK.
The young coders were at Buckingham Palace for the special event, attended by Prince Andrew, to recognise their innovative entries to the programme which was launched by the Prince himself.
Run by Young Rewired State (YRS), which is a global network of developers and designers who are age 18 and under, the five week competition gave young and self taught coders in the UK a chance to showcase their talents. The programmers were challenged to design prototype websites, games, videos and apps, amongst other things, in an attempt to develop solutions to five different coding challenges.
Emma Mulqueeny, CEO of YRS, said that the national challenge was a great way for the organisation to engage young innovators across the country. She commented: “The increasingly digital world in which we live is crying out for a workforce with the right skills for the 21st century. The Duke of York’s support and also the support from Google demonstrates a clear recognition that up skilling the next generation for the digital economy will be key to innovation, jobs and wealth creation in the future”.
The Duke of York also spoke at the event on Monday, saying that: “Education is about discovery and learning, yet something like science is taught with the answer in mind. It seems to me that if science was taught like coding, we would have a lot more scientists. If you give children a problem they will go out and solve it”.
Winners of this year’s pilot competition included Andrew Deniszczyc who, at the age of 17, collected stories from various developers, aiming to demonstrate how commonplace programming is today. Freddie Proser, aged 14, who also attended the event, said: “I do it for the love of coding, which is what everyone here would say, its not because we want to make money. Learning to code isn’t hard, the theory behind code is hard”.
Reforms to the old ICT curriculum in schools are due to come in to force this September and will place a stronger emphasis on coding and programming than the previous syllabus did. From the early age of five, children will start learning the basics of coding and programming, and from the age of 11 they will learn programming languages.