Kicking off with a blast on 21 April, the Asia Pacific Week of Code witnessed thousands of youth attending events and activities. Part of Microsoft YouthSpark’s #WeSpeakCode campaign, the Asia Pacific Week of Code encourages youth to learn basic coding skills so they can be equipped for the modern workplace and have access to better employment opportunities in the future.

From business students in China to underprivileged children in community childcare centres in South Korea, the campaign reached a diverse group of learners from all walks of life.

Here are some highlights from East Asia

SOUTH KOREA

 Two South Korean children engrossed in a coding exercise

South Korea, a highly digital society anticipated to be the next global powerhouse for tech start-ups, implements a school curriculum that incorporates a substantial amount of ICT content. Yet, unequal access to opportunities and existing disparities put vulnerable groups of people and students at a disadvantage. As such, for this campaign, Microsoft Korea worked together with several nonprofits to focus only on underprivileged children and young women.

Coding games and interactive activities were carried out in 11 community child care centres for 151 children. At a two-day YouthSpark Live event, 60 female college students, got their first taste of coding by way of Blockly, a web-based, graphical programming editor, which they learnt on the spot.  In addition, over 200 youth signed up for the basic and advanced learning resources that were provided to the National Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning 

Reaching more than 48,255 social media accounts, the campaign also made a buzz throughout various social media channels. Offline and online, the Week of Code in Korea was definitely a success!

CHINA

 Over 15,000 participants in China created more than one million lines of code during the Week of Code

More than one million lines of code. That was the total amount written by more than 15,000 people across the country. In just an hour.

Reaching out to more than 200 schools and 16 Microsoft Youth Community Centres, the campaign swept through nine provinces (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Anhui, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Gansu and Jilin). In preparing for such an extensive campaign, Microsoft China made sure that it would also reflect a diversity of beneficiaries: amongst the participants were senior citizens, rural women, people with learning difficulties and migrant schoolchildren.

In Chengdu, the Qingyang District Government and Qingyang Education Bureau officially announced Week of Code to 57 primary and middle schools in the district. Sixty thousand students in the region will have the access to computer science education through Microsoft resources during and beyond Week of Code. In Anhui province, the Anhui Provincial Science and Technology Association offered free server hosting for the students to have faster and smoother access to code.org. Such is the power of collaboration between government and private sectors!

 A group of newly-minted coders in China

TAIWAN
Microsoft Taiwan raised the bar by having a mock Windows Phone app development competition during a YouthSpark Live event, which was attended by 122 students from 28 universities.

After Enterprise Architect Evangelist Herman Wu showed how open government data can be used for apps, the students were asked to create their own apps. Split into five groups, they had to develop an app using Windows Phone and Windows Surface in 90 minutes. Despite having little knowledge about app-development prior to this, they produced apps that were not only creative, but feasible, too. Herman and the students then discussed how technology can be used to drive social good.

 A group of Taiwanese students clocking their Hour of Code together

We wish all participants the best on their journey in coding!

Don’t miss out on the other events that happened in Asia Pacific during the Week of Code by following us on Facebook