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Digital Transformation

Summly founder Nick D'Aloisio calls for coding and entrepreneurship to be taught in schools

By Stephen Lepitak | -

October 17, 2013 | 4 min read

Summly founder Nick D'Aloisio has called for young people to be educated in coding and entrepreneurship in school.

The teenager, who sold his company to Yahoo earlier this year, set up after he began by teaching himself coding during a summer holiday when he was 12. He told the audience at IAB Engage the story that led him to establish the news summarising app and sell it for a reported £20m.

D'Aloisio stated his belief that more should be done in schools to promote the skills of coding and the art of entrepreneurship to pupils, saying that building a company could now be achieved at any age.

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He also highlighted apps such ad Snapchat and Vine as examples of "transiency" being brought to information and the immediacy of knowledge that was now being demanded in an online age.

"If someone mentions a piece of jargon, they then type it into their phone and check it on Wikipedia and learn something. It's almost like we want to have access to information as quickly as possible and unlike 20th century media, where you would have to go to a library or find an expert in a field, today you have access to everything that has ever existed.

"Now, more than ever, you have to know how to learn and navigate that information because if you learn the skills to find out where you need to go or how to interpret that information, you can have access to anything you want. There's this whole generation coming out of high school or university who, despite not having the qualifications or degrees in certain fields, are actually able to do things that are relevant and that is very exciting because it is important that schooling grows up to raise awareness that programming is an important skill and if learned at a young age, and being told that, it helps to create opportunities, and equally entrepreneurship has become a lot more accessible because we have the Internet."

He also said that there was no barrier to building opportunities with people around the world.

D'Aloisio spoke exactly a week after the second Bima D-Day,which saw over 100 digital agencies across the UK team with local schools to provide them with digital creative briefs to grow their knowledge of the online industry available to them.

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