KUALA LUMPUR: Accenture recently hosted over 50 underprivileged children from around Klang Valley for an Hour of Code at the JW Marriot Hotel.
The initiative is part of Accenture’s team up with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches over 100 million students through a one-hour introduction to computer science.
The focus on bringing coding skills to as many young people as possible is close to many of our leaders. In Malaysia, Accenture’s country managing director, Azwan Baharuddin, learnt to code at 10 years old and is a certified Java J2EE programmer. Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and “Chief Coder”, also learned to code as a kid and was instantly hooked.
“As disruptive technologies advance and have a growing impact on society, a significant skills gap is also growing – so much so that already millions of jobs requiring STEM skills are unfilled worldwide,” said Daugherty.
“It is critical that we equip today’s students, tomorrow’s workforce, with not just these skills, but also an understanding of how they can harness creativity and innovation to improve the way the world works and lives,” he said.
“Our passion to see the next generation be digitally literate is driven by the epic disruption we see across all industries in Malaysia. By learning to code, children will grow up understanding how humans and technology work together, an important first lesson in preparing for the future,” said Accenture's technology delivery lead executive and managing director, Janet Yap.
“It is our privilege and responsibility to pass on the skills and hopefully inspire a whole new generation who will be future disruptors, and not themselves be disrupted. Hour of Code is a fantastic opportunity for Accenture volunteers to help to build New Skills Now all over the world,” she said.
Twenty four volunteers patiently walked each child through the tutorial and were rewarded by seeing the children’s faces light up when they ‘got it’ and saw the animated result of their successful coding.
One of them, Jonathan Raj said, “I was surprised to see how fast the kids managed to pick up basic coding skills through the tutorial. They definitely have the potential to be equipped for a future where coding will soon become an important skill”.
Nearly 2,500 Accenture employees worldwide have committed to teach an hour of code at local events in their communities, helping to inspire more than 100,000 students around the world to learn coding and computer science skills.
Accenture built on the success of its Accenture Intelligent Space Exploration, a coding tutorial in which students discover how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can be applied to teach a robot to explore a new planet – recognising animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants. This round, the tutorial has been expanded to 15 languages – English, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Vietnamese – to bring coding to more students around the world through lessons in their native languages.