“Don’t just buy a computer game – make one. Don’t just download the latest app – help to develop it. Don’t just play on your mobile phone – programme it.”
These were the opening words of the training day in programming, The Hour of Code, at Stralfors’ head office in Solna on 9 December.
60 year six pupils and four teachers from the English School in Järfälla were invited to take part.“Ready to go? Great, because now you’re going to learn how easy it is to programme!” said Tomas Sjöström, President of the Data Management Division at Stralfors, as he welcomed everyone.
The Hour of Code
Over the course of an hour – The Hour of Code – and working in pairs, the pupils were given tasks to perform using programming. At their disposal they had 30 computers and staff from Stralfors in the role of team leaders.
The first task was to write a few simple lines of code in a programmable version of the game Angry Birds.
Soon the sounds of eager fingers tapping away on the keyboards were interspersed with cheers.
“Some of the pupils have already practised this task during a Maths lesson,” explained Sara Söder, a teacher from the English School in Järfälla.
“Most year six pupils have their own smartphones and computers at home. Some of them even create their own apps.
“We do need more IT skills in schools today”
In some of the groups, hardly any of the pupils had tried their hand at programming before.
So among those, there were more questions about how you write code and why.
“According to the new syllabus, IT and computer skills are to be integrated into teaching, but we really need to step up the pace,” emphasised Marcus Segerstedt, also a teacher at the English School in Järfälla.
“Being able to visit a proper workplace where they use programming in their day-to-day activities is invaluable, both for us as teachers and for the pupils. It’s important for compulsory schools to have an understanding of programming as a tool and how we can integrate this knowledge into teaching.”
Profession of the future
After a few more tasks, the day was rounded off with the presentation of diplomas in one of Stralfors’ lecture halls.
Tomas Sjöström from Stralfors reminded the pupils of the mantra of the training day: Anyone can programme.
“You probably knew that many of the programs we use almost every day, such as Spotify and Skype, are Swedish inventions? And that programming is a profession of the future. So keep on programming!”