If Learning to Code is Not About Coding, Then What is it About?

Koen DePryck
Vrije Universiteit Brussel / School District 1 Antwerpen, Belgium

Jens Vermeersch
GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Belgium

Annemie Tytgat
GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Belgium


The need for programming professionals is still growing. The European Commission estimates there are 700,000 unfilled vacancies for IT practitioners, of which programmers outnumber other IT professionals by 5 to 1. In the Netherlands development jobs account for 51.6% of all IT jobs. The limited response from the different European education systems is worrisome, although there are signs that awareness is on the rise. Estonia has introduced programming across the curriculum in 2012, Denmark is following suit. So are the UK, Finland and Ireland. In Germany some regions are more on the forefront than others. It should be noted that schools are not the only answer to this challenge – so are for example after-school coding clubs as well as initiatives from the IT industry itself – but they are, obviously, a key stakeholder.

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