Decode is a New Zealand based project aimed at promoting programming in the youth of the world. Our concerns lie in what we call the rising consumerism in technology, where people are just consuming the world’s most powerful development and not actually making good use of it. If this goes on for too long, our generation of “digital natives” will be responsible in the computing world, helpless as consumers typically are.

Decode is a bit of a mix between a school project and a whole bunch of personal interests. As a programmer myself I’ve always been amazed by the field and its possibilities. I’m also always constantly aware that my being involved in it was completely by chance, a small activity I decided to pursue one day out of the interest of fun – I had no idea it would lead to what it did today.

Not everyone capable of programming will end up going down this path, it’s just too unlikely. That’s why I started to Decode, to show people that programming isn’t as confusing and as elitist as it seems, that people have the capacity to be good at it and it can even be fun at times. So far my efforts have been aimed at testing it out at my school, Kristin. We’ve had four after school sessions so far where I’ve been teaching students of all age groups the basics of programming web languages, with a few people turning up who already know quite a bit.

I want Decode to turn into a very social thing, something that people can turn up to and meet other likeminded people. Where people will effortlessly pass their knowledge around to others, answering questions and producing some really cool software.

I definitely feel as though New Zealand is lacking programmers, and I really hope that I can make some sort of difference. The opportunities are simply too great to keep letting them pass us by.

Check out Decode here.

This blog post was written by Christian Silver, a student at Kristin School in Auckland.  Christian was a participant at StrategyNZ 2011 and EmpowerNZ 2012.