MET:Hour of Code

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The Hour of Code is a worldwide initiative designed by the not for profit organization to increase the education of computer science in schools around the world. Originally designed to increase the instruction of computer science in American schools, the movement quickly gained momentum and became a global initiative. The movement began on February 28, 2013 with a YouTube video that featured endorsements from celebrities and programmers such as Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates and[1] After receiving widespread support, introduced it’s Hour of Code initiative during Computer Science Education Week, 2013 from December 9 to December 15, 2013.

History was founded by Hadi Partovi and Ali Partovi, twin brothers both of whom have had successful careers in the computer science industry.[2] Both brothers have been involved in the development of computer software and apps such as iLike, acquired by MySpace in 2009, and Tellme networks, acquired by Microsoft for $800 million.[3] In addition to being successful entrepreneurs and investors, Hadi and Ali have worked for a variety of technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook. [4] Hadi, who retired at 38, could not believe that only 1 in 10 schools in the United States teach computer science at the elementary or secondary levels. In response to what they saw as a troubling statistic the brothers cofounded and officially launched the website in January 2013. On February 28, 2013 the Partovi brothers released a YouTube Video titled “What Most Schools Don’t Teach”[5] that became the number one video on YouTube in one day. The popular video featured a series of interviews from well known computer software designers such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg explaining the importance and significance of learning how to code.

Decline of enrolment in technology related programs

In recent years computer science enrolment in post secondary institutions has significantly decreased. Following the burst of the dot-com bubble and outsourcing of North American information technology (IT) jobs to low wage economies in the early 2000s, job prospects for computer science and information systems students became a concern. The negative representation of the situation led to a significant decrease of enrolment in these post secondary programs. For example, research showed that by 2004 the computer science program enrolment for Ohio University was down 71% from it's peak. While 70, 000 computer programming jobs from the U.S. were outsourced between 1999 and 2003, the impact was much less grave than first expected. Further research has shown that over 115,000 computer software engineers found higher paying jobs between 1999 and 2003.[6] The outsourced IT jobs tend to be generally lower level programming positions which has allowed the higher paying business IT positions to remain in North America. As a result of the decline of enrolment in computer science programs at post secondary institutions North America is now experiencing a growing gap in the labour market for qualified computer and business literate candidates.

Labour market projections
Screenshot of's promotional infographic indicating the gap between labour and demand in computer science

In North America a number of studies have indicated a shortage in the computer science labour market. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) has indicated that "computing occupations" will more than double the growth rate of all other occupations so that by 2018 the amount of these jobs is estimated to grow by 21% or 800,000 new jobs.[7] The increase of Healthcare IT and expansion of mobile technology is expected to increase the demand for software developers, support technicians and systems analysts in the U.S. The U.S BLS predicts that by 2020 there will be a 22% increase in the amount of computer related occupations in the United States.[8] According to a 2013 PowerPoint presentation released by Computer Science Education Week and this 22% increase in jobs will leave 1 million computer programming jobs unfilled by the year 2020 in the United States alone.[9]

In Canada the situation is quite similar. In a report released March 3, 2014 the Information and Communication Technologies Council (ICTC) described Canada's mobile-apps landscape as "red-hot". Since an earlier report on computer programming jobs released in October 2012, the ICTC reported that the number of Canadians employed in the apps development industry has grown 25% to 64,000 and the revenue from this industry as of the year 2014 is $1.7 billion yearly. As in the U.S., the canadian computer programming industry is expected to grow significantly. By 2019 the ICTC predicts that the number of Canadians employed in the apps industry alone will increase to 110,000 with the yearly revenue climbing to $5.2 billion.[10] This rapid growth in the IT industry is a concern for Canadian companies fighting for qualified applicants. In the 2012 ICTC report, officials predicted a shortage in the information and communication technology labour for the next five years. The council estimated that in the province of Ontario alone would have 51,000 jobs in this area of which only 60-70% can be filled with new graduates and immigrants.[11]

Goals goals

The general goals for include[12]:

  • making computer science available in more schools
  • increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of colour
  • Bringing Computer Science classes to every K-12 school in the United States, especially in urban and rural neighborhoods.
  • Demonstrating the successful use of online curriculum in public school classrooms
  • Changing policies in all 50 states to categorize C.S. as part of the math/science "core" curriculum
  • Harnessing the collective power of the tech community to celebrate and grow C.S. education worldwide
  • To increase the representation of women and students of color in the field of Computer Science.

Hour of Code

File:Angry bird - code.png
Angry Bird tutorial on

After's success in early 2013, the website decided to to introduce a more specific initiative for Computer Science Education Week. While the overarching goal of is to campaign the government to introduce computer coding into the core curriculum to provide every student in the U.S. the opportunity to learn computer science, the goal of the 2013 Hour of Code campaign was to introduce over 10 million students to computer programming. The website publicly campaigned to have schools, parents and teachers introduce students of all ages to coding by having them try at least one hour of the coding tutorials found on the website. The website has 21 hours of tutorials that were created with the help of popular companies including Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook. The tutorials are aimed at introducing students to the basics of coding through gameplay by featuring fun activities and popular games such as Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. [13] In addition to providing students with an increasingly important literacy in computers, computer coding has been linked to higher test scores in math.[14]


The 2013 Hour of code initiative took place over Computer Science Education Week from December 9 to 15, 2013. The Hour of Code 2013 campaign was a $1 million initiative funded by donations from large corporations (see Donors). In order to promote the Hour of Code campaign, released a series of inspirational videos featuring celebrities and politicians including United States President Obama, NBA star Chris Bosh, actor Ashton Kutcher, singer Shakira and many more.[15] President Barack Obama's self made video asked young Americans to learn Computer Science for the country, stating that "learning these skills isn't just important for our future, it's important for our country's future".[16] Apple and Microsoft supported the Hour of Code campaign by hosting Hour of Code sessions at their retail stores across Canada and the United States.[17]

According to the 2013 Hour of Code campaign achieved the following[18]:

  • 15 million students in 170 countries learned one hour of code
  • 1 in 5 U.S. students did an hour of code
  • More girls participated in computer science in U.S. schools than in the last 70 years
  • Students wrote 500,000,000 lines of code, while Microsoft Windows runs on 50,000,000 lines of code

In 2013 has raised over $10 million in funds to support it's cause.

One thing Republicans and Democrats agree on also used a marketing campaign featuring a series photos of Republican and Democrats endorsing the Hour of Code initiative under the slogan "One thing Republicans and Democrats agree on". The photos can be found on the Facebook page.[19]

Barack Obama endorses Hour of Code


Corporate donors for include, Microsoft, Google, Juniper Networks, salesforce, LinkedIn, JPMorgan, Chase&Co, Allen & Company LLC.[20]

Stop Motion Animation

Adriana Silvestre, June 2015

Laurie Campbell, January 2017

Cubetto: A great way to include preschool aged children in the Hour of Code Sara Martin, January 2018


  1. Layton, L. (2014, January 14). Successful 'Hour of Code' computer tutorials prompts effort to change school policies. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
  2. Layton, L. (2014, January 14). Successful 'Hour of Code' computer tutorials prompts effort to change school policies. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
  6. Wayne, W.H., Greene, J., Day, J. (2008). Outsourcing and the Decrease of IS Programming Enrollment. Communications of the ACM 51 (6).
  8. Thibodeau, P., (29 March, 2012). IT jobs will grow 22% through 2020, says U.S. Computerworld, Retrieved from
  9., (2013). Computer Science Education Week December 9-15, 2013 [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from‎
  10. Lepier, J., (3 March, 2014). 64,000 now employed in apps economy, nearly 25% higher than October 2012, ICTC finds in updated report. Retrieved from
  11. Vukets, C. (2011, Apr 06). Information technology skills shortage requires new breed of worker. WaterlooRegion Record. Retrieved from
  13. ""Hour of Code" Kicks off to introduce K-12 students to computer programming" Computer Society Connection," Computer , vol.46, no.11, pp.99,101, Nov. 2013
  14. Kotz, D., (12 December 2013). Will teaching kids to code boost math SAT scores? Retrieved from
  15. Layton, L., (2014, February 27). 'Flappy Birthday' to The Washington post. Retrieved from
  16. President Obama asks America to learn computer science [Video File]. Retrieved from
  17. Layton, L., (2013, December 10). "Week Long Hour of Code campaign lures millions of students to computer coding" The Washington post, Retrieved from

External links