Humans of Code Week – Madhumalti Sharma, Code Week ambassador Luxembourg
By Madhumalti Sharma, Code Week ambassador Luxembourg
What sparked your interest in coding / Code Week?
I was involved in organising activities for EU Code week via Workshop4Me since the year Code Week started. I decided to volunteer and help organise activities as Ambassador for Luxembourg. The idea of having a grass-roots movement supported by the European Commission to help the future generation and general public to learn coding skills was hard to resist. Being a coder and having been in the technology industry for more than 25 years, it was the most natural thing to do!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn / teach coding?
Learning to code today is great as things have gotten much simpler compared to when I learned coding more than 30 years ago! It is possible to learn it in a fun way: starting with visual programming where you drag and drop blocks like Lego. This way you create wonderful stories, games, animations, and apps. Visual coding is a great way to get introduced to coding. Even to learn text-based programming languages like Python, Java etc. there are so many tools and resources available now.
For those who want to teach coding, there are many free, online resources available. Whether you are a primary school or University teacher, there are many websites, books, tools, and resources at your disposal. Go for it – start with the EU Code Week website!
What do you like most about Code Week?
The community! It becomes more diverse, vibrant, and engaging each year. The Ambassadors, Leading Teachers, EDU coordinators, EU Schoolnet team and the European Commission team are all inspiring and wonderful to interact with. Each meeting is so much fun and gives me many ideas on how to grow the coding activities in my country! The diversity in perspectives is enriching!
How do you imagine the future of Code Week to look like?
I wish I could say that in the future we did not need Code Week at all. As coding will become like learning how to read and write – prevalent everywhere and not needing special focus via an initiative like Code Week. I expect Code Week to be spread across the world and the orange flag of Code Week flying high – maybe even literally at the Commission offices to show its identity and importance.
What challenges have you encountered in your role as ambassador / leading teacher /teacher and how did you overcome them?
It was challenging to get more people and resources mobilised in planning activities during Code Week to be on the Leader board. Luckily though, coding has been introduced in the curriculum of the schools in Luxembourg, with the wonderful support of the Ministry of Education. This led to more classes and schools organising activities, which got us in the in the Top 3 on the Leader board in 2020 and 2021!
What are the top three reasons why everyone / kids should learn how to code?
I will give you 5 reasons why – https://workshop4me.org/blog/f/why-learn-to-code
How can interested people contribute to Code Week?
It’s very simple – just go to the Code Week website and either register your event or reach out to your Country Ambassador to get involved. There are several ways one could – like arranging a room for organizing an activity, volunteering, helping publicize and many more ways!
Which project/activity related to Code Week are you most proud of, and why?
During the last Code week Ambassadors meeting there was a question about what we could do for Ukraine. I felt it would be fitting to do what we do best – organise a coding activity. Just 2 weeks ago we did a coding session for the refugee children of Ukraine to make them feel welcome in Luxembourg. We got great feedback after the session, parents mentioned that they really appreciated it.
Some years ago we organized an activity for mums and girls to code together. In the past 2 years due to COVID, we organized several online activities with participants from all over the world. Each one makes me feel proud as it shows the power of community and coding.
What advice related to coding that you received inspired you most, and why?
My Co-Founder and Vice President (Technology), Atreyam Sharma told me something simple, yet profound. He said, ‘Learning to code is like learning to think’. This made me realise even more how important it is that everyone on the planet learns how to code, and why it is necessary to start with young children.