'Coding Nation' Chronicles 300 Ways to Pick Up Programming

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How many ways can you learn to code? Try more than 100101100--or, in translation, more than 300.

That's according to a report, "Coding Nation," fresh from the digital press at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The accompanying spreadsheet lists 316 online and in-person programs categorized by: Bootcamps, Certification programs, Corporate-focused programs and Hackathons.

New high-tech jobs are growing three times faster than the rest of the economy, notes the Kapor Center report. Why not better understand "who/what/where ARE all of these programs working to expand our nation's computer programming skills?"

The report has an introductory note and shout out to Globaloria from Jennifer Arguello, tech writer for NBC Latino.com and an advisor to the Kapor Center. Omoju Miller, a software technologist, startup advisor and educator, lauds programs including Black Girls CODE, Girl Develop It, Iridescent Learning’s Technovation Challenge, and the Level PlayingField Institute’s Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH).

A growing number of business leaders are urging American kids to learn to code. Code.org, a nonprofit started earlier this year, shared a viral video this spring in which celebrities like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and even NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, trumpet the value of learning to code. (EdSurge shared our own report and 40 accompanying coding tools this spring in our "Teaching Kids To Code" guide.)

"Coding Nation" offers both good and teeth-gritting news, depending on your point of view:

  • Most coding programs focus on kids and people under the age of 24 years old;
  • Although you can pay as much as $18K to learn to code, many programs are free;
  • About a third of the "learn to code" programs found by the Kapor Center have been started in the past three years;
  • 63 programs--about 20% of the sample--focus on women and girls;
  • 32 programs--or a slender 10%--target underrepresented minorities;
  • Python, Ruby and Javascript are the most popular languages to teach.

Cedric Brown, Managing Partner at Kapor and overseer of the project, shared with EdSurge that what “started as an internal purpose for internal knowledge” became a resource that the Kapor Center wanted to share more broadly. In the near-term, he's committed to maintaining and updating the list and keeping it publicly available. "If someone were to download the CSV file and do something with it, we'd be delighted," he said.

Brown also added that "we are not trying to claim that this is everything. We want to ask people to contribute and grow this list."

If you know of programs that the Kapor Center missed, drop them a note here.

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