THE BLOG
16/03/2015 13:06 GMT | Updated 16/05/2015 06:59 BST

Will We Be the Clueless Coding Generation?

If, like me, you are a late 80s baby then you will probably fit into a group of people labelled Generation Y. One distinguishable feature of Generation Y dwellers is that despite growing up around technology, they can still remember a time when there wasn't a computer in their home. Our first desktop arrived with a fanfare of over 100 free CD-Roms (Easy To Do DIY! Type Touch Course! Card Templates!) and an unnecessary large number of cardboard boxes. Seven-year-old Georgie's first ever internet search was "baby chimpanzee", and after hitting the 'PRINT ALL' button, increased her monkey memorabilia portfolio ten fold.

So while us Generation Ys may not fit into the camp of tots that try and change channels by swiping the TV, we are far from clueless. We occupy a privileged position where technology fits seamlessly into our lifestyles. Never will we find ourselves "not being able to make the video player work" because we have a grasp on how to interact with menus, cursors, downloads & searches. Our knowledge is ingrained, adaptable and transferable.

But there's a black hole beginning to emerge in our general-tech-know-how and that hole is called 'Coding'. Last year coding was made a part of the national curriculum, with children as young as five starting to learn the basics. Not only that, the BBC have just announced that they will be giving one million mini-computers away to pupils starting secondary school in September for coding purposes and will also be running a number of courses that will encourage teens to make computer games. This isn't a standalone initiative either, government and commercial programs are being rolled out by the likes of Google, Microsoft, BT and TeenTech, which all are encouraging children to get into coding.

This movement is both exciting and entirely necessary. The UK is facing a significant skills shortage, with 1.4million "digital professionals" estimated to be needed over the next five years. Action has to be taken now to ensure that we're not left behind, it's just for the first time ever us Generation Y's won't be on board.

I can see myself 15 years from now looking blankly at my kids after they nonchalantly tell me that I should re-program our coffee machine to send me reminders when our capsules are low. I will be the one who'll have Barclays Digital Eagles on speed dial to help me with my algorithms, debugging and Boolean logic. Who will shoehorn coding jargon into clumsy sentences, not knowing exactly whether they are verbs, nouns or adjectives.

For the first time ever I can feel what it will be like to be old.