Nov 13, 2018People & Industry

Coding to set kids up for success in the gas industry…and everywhere else

If you know how to code today then you’re amongst the minority of most Australians. But not for long. A recent study by the Regional Australia Institute and NBN has found that one-in-two Australians will need skills in programming, software development and building digital technology to remain competitive in the workforce by 2030[1].

But why is computer programming and coding so important? Well, because coding gives the user the tools to understand technology, and to make it work for them. In this way, these skills underpin all the digital technologies that are fast being embraced across a broad spectrum of industries, including the gas and renewables sectors.

Across the globe energy companies are investing in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning as they seek to solve problems in different ways. The trend in digitisation of the industry is clear, with focus and investment by the industry increasing every year. Having access to more data, faster, will help the gas industry make better and more timely decisions. Using drones in the field can save money and time. Simulating offshore environments for training can improve safety for workers. The list goes on. Here in Australia, many of our leading gas companies including Woodside, Origin Energy and Santos are all embracing these digital technologies.

So, it’s safe to say that the energy professionals of the future, along with a whole host of other industries, are going to need a good appreciation of programming and coding.

“It’s predicted that in the next couple of decades, around 60% of new jobs will require skills in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, and it’s important that we equip young Australians with these skills to be successful and effective in the future Australian workforce.” Says Kylie Walker, CEO of Science and Technology Australia, the peak body for Scientists and Technologists.

Some attempts have been made to introduce a standardised federal curriculum for computer programming and coding in schools, with several states adopting localised curriculums into their schools. Meanwhile, private companies like Code Camp have seen exponential growth in demand, having taught over 40,000 kids between the ages of eight and 13 to code since it began just a few years ago.

“For an eight-year-old kid, there’s not much more exciting than being able to create your own iPhone game and show it off to your friends”, says Code Camp Co-Founder Dan Zwolenski. “At Code Camp, we harness that sense of excitement to teach kids basic coding skills in a fun and social way. We’re creating a whole generation of tech savvy kids who are coding their own websites before their 10th birthday, so it’s exciting to think what they will be creating when they hit the workforce in just a few years’ time”, he adds.

It’s not only kids that are able to benefit from STEM programs like Code Camp. A range of free courses for adults can be found online as well as short-courses offered through local technical colleges, universities and private companies. Stay tuned to Brighter for more information about how adults can get skilled up.




Photo credit: @jcomp




The natural gas industry directly employs thousands of Australians and continues to create jobs in local communities across the country. Not only that, industry jobs are well-paid. The average wage for workers is over $160,000 a year (Australian Bureau of Statistics), which makes it Australia’s highest paying industry. That’s great for those with jobs related to natural gas, but it also helps keep local communities running too.