Atlassian is certainly one of Australia’s greatest startup success stories. Founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, the mammoth software development company was founded in 2002 and funded by $10,000 in credit card debt. Fast-track to 2018 and the company, now valued at around $4.5 billion (AUD), pulls in over $600 million (USD) each year.
Today’s edition of The Daily Telegraph featured Atlassian co-founder Cannon-Brookes as he stressed the need for Australian kids and teens to learn about computer coding. Titled Cannon-Brookes on why coding is critical for kids, the article reinforced the need for Australian children to have the opportunity to learn about and understand modern technology.
He talked about the tech-savvy workforce of the future that we should be preparing our children for. In Australia alone, there are over four million school-aged children that educators, parents and businesses must ensure are excited about coding and computational thinking. Ultimately, by having these skills, students will be able to apply their knowledge to whatever field they end up pursuing in life beyond school.
However, the Australian school system is often cited as being a few steps behind many other developed nations in terms of its integration of digital technologies within the national curriculum. Until this changes, it’s up to parents and carers to encourage their children to explore computational thinking and coding outside of school through innovative products such as The Amazing Annoyatron.
Digital technologies have been behind almost all of the most significant innovations of the twenty-first century. Technological skills, including computer coding, give future generations the power to continue this culture of innovation well beyond the present.
For children in rural and regional areas, it could take even longer for computer coding and technology to be properly accessible in schools. Yet regional Australia is a hub for digital innovation that goes largely unnoticed behind the scenes. Technology-based startups such as Agtribe, which allows farmers to rent and swap their machinery, are fantastic examples of this. Agrinet and FarmPay are further testaments to the waves of innovation that are occurring around Australia’s regional areas.
Not every child is going to end up employed in a computer science career, but that doesn’t really matter. Smartphones, apps and computers run our lives, and the ability of future generations to leverage these technologies will allow them to innovate and thrive within the profession which they choose to pursue. There is no escaping the technologically-driven nature of the world in which we live, so it is, therefore, logical to prepare our children for life within it.