Coding for the Future: Bootstrapping software engineering & teaching for the younger generations
The 14th event in the Italy4Innovation series was held on 6 October 2020, in webinar format. The theme was coding, and the discussion examined the importance of IT and STEM subjects for the future of our economic systems. Helping young people develop skills in computer science has become a priority for governments, companies and civil society.
In Italy, LUISS University in Rome has recently launched 42 Rome LUISS, a school that runs coding courses free of charge. The school was presented by Riccardo Zacconi, cofounder of King (the company behind Candy Crush), and Massimo Angelini of LUISS University.
The panelists also discussed diversity and gender equality in the tech sector. Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta stated in his opening address that gender equality is not only right but also intelligent. This was also mentioned by Maria Grazia Vigliotti, a lecturer at Imperial College London and author of a book on the importance of blockchain for companies, who noted that companies with more women on their teams tend to have better results.
Science and IT education is a central issue in the EU too, as highlighted by Beatrice Covassi, the head of digital policy at the EU delegation in the UK, who mentioned that around 20% of the Next Generation EU fund will be invested in digital technology and network infrastructures.
The panelists also discussed the transformations in the world of work and in the relationships between humans and machines. These historic changes are the consequence of the digital revolution, but digital technologies can help address them more successfully. Mattia Crespi from the Institute for the Future of Palo Alto in California said that the expectation is that humans will continue to lead processes rather than being tools at the service of machines.