Coding prodigy: Is this kid the next Bill Gates?

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It won’t be long before Australian students will be following in the footsteps of Canadian coding prodigy Tanmay Bakshay.

Thirteen-year-old programming prodigy, Tanmay Bakshay is in Australia on a mission to inspire the next generation of coders.

Tanmay is something special.

He first learnt to code at the age of five, and sold his first app on Apple's app store at the age of nine.

"Instead of having kids growing up thinking programming is so hard, or it's something you have to learn, we should at least give them the introduction to show them that it's not as hard as they think it is," he said.

His father Puneet taught him how to code and has watched in awe as his son has achieved milestone after milestone.

IT
Tanmay's father Puneet.
SBS World News

"He's not just learning for himself," he said.

"He's sharing what he's learning and he's helping others. This is why I'm very proud."

Only one per cent of Australian graduates, or 4,000 students, qualify in information technology.

But the contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy is forecast to nearly double to $139 billion in 2020.

Participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in Australian schools is declining, with enrolments at their lowest levels in 20 years.

But by 2019, the whole country will be learning digital technologies.

"Students will learn computer programming from Year 3 through to Year 8," Associate Professor James Curran from the University of Sydney said.

"In Year 3 through to 6 they'll be doing visual programming, but in Year 7 and 8 students are expected to learn a general purpose programming language that actually allows them to solve problems in whatever other learning area they're interested in."

The abolition of 457 visas means that, in theory, it will be more difficult for Australian companies to import talent from overseas.

It also means it's more important than ever for Australian children to learn how to code.

"It is absolutely critical that we ensure children are skilled and prepared for a diverse, challenging, modern workforce of the future," Education Minister Simon Birmingham said.

Minister Birmingham
By 2019 it's expected that the whole country will be learning digital technologies.
SBS World News

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