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Reading, writing and... code?

As businesses become more and more reliant on the internet to function, they are employing people with a specific skill set to make their businesses run in an online world.

The amount of people who have the know-how to access the back ends of sites is no longer limited to a few tech geeks in their mother’s basements. Accessing back ends and hacking is becoming more and more prominent – just look at the recent celebrity nude photo scandal and all the dirty politics during the recent election

This affects New Zealand businesses as the knowledge gap between upper management and their employees grows wider. While managers of the older generations will likely use email and internet banking, most likely do not understand what is going on behind the scenes.

The latest MYOB Digital Nation report found that nearly half - 47 per cent - of small and medium enterprises in New Zealand do not have any kind of online presence.

This highlights how the local SME community is still divided by the use of the internet and internet technology, and that most New Zealand businesses are not all that savvy when it comes to technology.

New Zealand is already suffers from an IT skills shortage, and many developers prefer working for themselves or contracting out rather than for a big corporation. Others will head overseas.

To tackle this issue it is argued that IT skills, such as coding, need to be taught early in a person’s education.

There is much debate amongst government departments and teachers about what should be done about information and communication technology in the school curriculum.

England became the first country in the world to make computer programming a compulsory school subject at all levels.

In a world shaped by history, science, literature, physics – there are curriculums in place so new students learn about them. But as the world changes and technology plays a bigger role, should it too become a compulsory subject?

Should learning about coding be part of our education, not so that we all become programmers or engineers, but so that we all have an understanding of how things work?