Tony Abbott come and learn about coding with us: Decoded co-founder

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 17 August 2015
Decoded co-CEO and co-founder, Kathryn Parsons

Decoded co-CEO, Kathryn Parsons, is heading to Australia and ahead of her trip she has some challenges for marketers and the industry as they try to wrap their heads around data and digital disruption.

Parsons who co-founded the coding company in 2011 in order to foster digital enlightenment for everyone from individuals to entire organisations, will be speaking at the AANA's Reset conference and said she wants to challenge our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to come and learn with Decoded, off the back of some of his comments around rolling out changes to the school curriculum and teaching coding to kids.

“To your Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who recently said coding shouldn't be on the national curriculum, I would very much like to challenge him to come and learn with us.” she said. “I believe policy makers and politicians have a responsibility to understand about technology.”

In May this year Abbott, in response to the opposition leader's Bill Shorton's question on whether he would support coding being taught in every primary and secondary school, said:

"Let's just understand exactly what the leader of the opposition has asked," Abbott said. "He said that he wants primary school kids to be taught coding so they can get the jobs of the future. Does he want to send them all out to work at the age of 11? Is that what he wants to do? Seriously?"

The government has allocated $3.5 million dollars to putting coding across the curriculum, however, it still isn't compulsory in Australia, where in other parts of the world, such as the UK, children as young as five are now being taught to code due to changes to the national curriculum.

Parsons will also be out in Australia to prepare for the business officially launching in this market, after it held some workshops in both Sydney and Melbourne to test the waters about the need for its services Down Under, and Parsons explained that Australian's hunger to learn is second to none.

“Seeing as we've gone straight into that market and there's been such a big appetite for data, it's been really really fascinating. People have been wanting to understand how to use data to better reach, understand, have conversations with their customers.

“It [data] helps you create operational efficiencies within your business, which is something we haven't seen so much - that desire to learn. There just seems to be a huge appetite for learning in Australia – that's exciting,” she said.

Parsons doesn't just want to challenge our Prime Minister to think differently about coding, she also wants to challenge those marketers attending the Reset conference to think differently about what digital disruption could be coming down the pipeline for them.

“I would challenge the people in the room to think about what technology do they think is going to disrupt their business in the next three years, and can they imagine what that technology may be, and how much do they feel confident that they understand those technologies.

“If they can image it, then it's possible that means that technology already exists and has been invented by someone. It's a scary time but it's also a really exciting time – we're right it in the mist of this technology revolution and we don't really know what's going to happen next.” she said.

The AANA Reset conference takes place on 28 October.

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