The Hour of Code program, aimed at increasing participation worldwide in computer science, kicks off its third year soon, running December 7-13. This time around, Microsoft's own Minecraft environment is front and center, with a tutorial and other resources aimed at helping kids see the value (and fun) in learning to program.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella weighed in on Minecraft's involvement in Hour of Code:
“A core part of our mission to empower every person on the planet is equipping youth with computational thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Microsoft. “With ‘Minecraft’ and Code.org, we aim to spark creativity in the next generation of innovators in a way that is natural, collaborative and fun.”
The Hour of Code endeavor has been a successful one, with some pretty impressive statistics to back it up: 100 million students, 180 countries, 40 languages. Over 100,000 events worldwide are expected during this year's session, meaning that Minecraft should benefit tremendously from even more exposure.
Aimed at kids 6+ years, the tutorial will be available at the dedicated Minecraft Hour of Code site. Participants will have access to 14 challenges and free time to develop their coding skillsets and learn just how fun programming can be. Minecraft is an excellent environment for such things, being a combination of creativity and entertainment that fully justifies Microsoft's multibillion dollar investment.
If you're a kid or generally anyone interested in coding, this year's Hour of Code could be a great opportunity to dip your toes into the world of programming. Go check out the site and get ready to have some fun.