When we think of people in coding, kids are probably the last to come to mind. But as technology continues to advance, so is the calling for more STEM professionals, with many industries looking to younger generations to become the next industry leaders.
Here are some of the most inspirational young coders today.
Error: Error not Found is the winning team of this year’s Zoohackathon, a two-day tech competition where young minds contribute their ideas to help the animals of India. These young representatives from the University of Delhi developed an open source text-based application called Wildlife Guru, which lets users report illegal wildlife trade activities. Team Error: Error not Found won because their coding work has the potential to help millions.
In today’s society, the demand for digital devices in every aspect of life has led to a burgeoning cybersecurity industry. In fact, statistics from Maryville University reveal that the field is growing three times faster than any other IT role, with the demand for the number of cybersecurity specialists nearly doubling between 2013 and 2019 alone. Despite this, >Government Technology claims that there is still a huge gender gap in cybersecurity, even though “North America will face a shortage of 265,000 cybersecurity workers by 2022.” The good news is that there are plenty of female coders who are making inroads into the industry. Fifteen students from the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), in Tennessee, competed in an international cybersecurity tournament called MAGIC Capture the Flag. Even though they didn’t win the competition they demonstrated why the cybersecurity industry must do more to level the playing field and encourage more women into the industry.
Joining the league of young female trailblazers, Samaira Mehta is a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the industry. Three years ago, this 11-year-old Californian prodigy made a board game called CoderBunnyz, which aims to teach its players the basic concepts of computer programming. The game was so popular that it sold hundreds of copies during its first year, which is what led Samaira to start her own company—Intel and Sun Microsystems—at age nine. Lately, she’s been invited to speak at workshops, forums, and events for Google and Microsoft. Samira has proven that age is only a number when it comes to revolutionizing an industry.
In Nigeria, CNN reported on a 9-year-old boy who built over 30 mobile games to “keep [himself] busy when [he’s] bored.” The wunderkind is Basil Okpara Jr., who uses Scratch—a block-based visual programming language—to help him code. Today, some of his games like Mosquito Mash are found on the Play Store. Like Samaira, Basil is an example of how younger coders will be the next tech industry experts.