The EU Code Week and the Code Week Ambassadors

Publication Date: Jul 06, 2017
 
Written by Bernadette Zerafa, eSkills Malta Foundation Manager

“Europe Code Week is a grassroots initiative which aims to bring coding and digital literacy to everybody in a fun and engaging way.”

EU Code Week is a grass-roots movement that celebrates creating with code. The idea is to make programming more visible; to show young, adults and elderly how you bring ideas to life with code; to demystify these skills; and bring motivated people together to learn. The initiative was launched in 2013 by the Young Advisors for the Digital Agenda Europe. Learning to code is a powerful way of exploring ideas and creating new solutions for work and play. Coding skills deserve to be celebrated.  This year Code Week is celebrating its 5th birthday. In order to mark this milestone, the code week activities will be held over two weeks - from the 7th till the 22nd of October 2017.  

In 2016, nearly a million people in more than 50 countries around the world took part in the EU Code Week. Malta also successfully took part in this initiative. As part of its strategy for a Digital Single Market, the European Commission supports the EU Code Week and other independent initiatives which aim to boost digital skills; including programming, for different target groups. In June 2016, the Commission adopted the New Skills Agenda Europe, which addresses digital skills across 10 concrete actions. One of the actions is the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, which brings together regional and national authorities, businesses, non-profit organisations, education providers and social partners who commit to act to increase digital skills in Europe. The National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalitions are often involved in the EU Code Week. In Malta, the eSkills Malta Foundation is the coordinator of the EU Code Week in Malta.



The European Code Week is coordinated in each country by a Code Week Ambassador. Who are these Ambassadors? The Ambassadors connect people, companies and communities who are interested in doing something for Code Week.  Amongst other things, they encourage new coding events to be held in their country; constantly promote Code Week and collaborate with other national ambassadors from across Europe. As a representative from the eSkills Malta Foundation, I am Malta’s EU Code Week Ambassador.  

On 30th June, Code Week Ambassadors from all over Europe met at Google’s offices in Brussels for a brainstorming session in preparation for the Code Week 2017. Google has been supporting code week for the last five years. This year, Google are offering grants (up to €2,500) to organizations who want to run educational initiatives during Europe Code Week. (For more information on grants please visit  www.google.com/cs). During this session, the Ambassadors were encouraged to engage in cross-border pan-European activities.

During the morning session, the Ambassadors were given the opportunity to share best practices and ideas, while in the afternoon they were given the chance to take part in an amazing coding quest in the form of a treasure hunt, ably managed by the coordinator of the EU Code Week, Alessandro Bogliolo. It is intended that this game will become a pan-European game in October during Code Week.

For more information on this year’s EU Code week please follow us on www.eskills.org.mt​; FB: /ESkillsMalta and on Twitter: @DigitalSkillsMT.