New Delhi: As the demand for skilled coders and software developers skyrocket in a post-pandemic era, especially in the age of generative AI (aka ChatGPT) and other next-gen technologies, Indian girls are not far behind and are now learning the ropes to become world-class coders.
For Aradhya Awasthi, a class 6th student in Delhi-NCR, coding is being creative, having fun and learning to be innovative. For Tanmit Kaur, who is in class 9th, learning coding helps open new career avenues and create solutions to solve real-life problems.
"I am fascinated by algorithm-based careers like in the world of finance. Coding has not only instilled confidence in me but has also given me a fresh career option which I may explore later in life to build innovative solutions to solve real-life problems," Kaur, a student at Noida-based Indraprastha Global School, told IANS.
Amid widespread tech layoffs, developers have emerged as the most sought-after role in India, especially those who can design, develop and maintain the front-end and back-end of a web application, according to job portal Indeed.
Developers today make up five of the top 10 job roles. The job roles that have seen the highest growth since pre-pandemic are data engineer (353 per cent), site reliability engineer (260 per cent), assistant engineer (254 per cent), application developer (235 per cent) and cloud engineer (220 per cent).
There are 45,000 AI job openings in India, with data scientists and Machine Learning (ML) engineers being among the most sought-after careers, according to a latest report by TeamLease Digital, a tech staffing firm.
Parul Malhotra, a senior software development engineer with global leading web and mobile app development company GeekyAnts became a developer as she loved the idea of solving real-world issues through programming.
"I have built a few world-class web apps in the last three years and worked with people from across the globe. Coding has provided me a way to solve problems, contribute to technological advances and communicate with people from different countries and backgrounds," she told IANS.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, coding is the only global language and he wishes that more Indian students, including girls, learn coding early in school days so that they can create world-class products and solve real-life problems as they grow up.
"Coding is the only global language. It is a way to express yourself and arguably, we need more of that in the world and bring the world closer," Cook, who has always emphasised that coding should be taught as early as elementary school, had told IANS in April during his India visit.
Indore's Asmi Jain, 20, has been selected among the winners of Apple's 'WWDC23 Swift Student Challenge', who created original apps using the Swift coding language.
At Medi-Caps University in Indore, she found out her friend's uncle had to undergo brain surgery. As a result, he was left with eye misalignment and facial paralysis.
Jain sprung into action, designing her winning playground to track a user's eye movements as they try to follow a ball moving around the screen.
"It was important for me to create an app playground that could positively impact the lives of people like him," said Jain.
According to her, coding lets her create things that help her friends and the community. "It gives me a sense of independence that is very empowering," she added.
According to Mohit Thukral, an alumnus of Stanford University and Director, Indraprastha Global School, technology is going to be the mathematics of the 21st century.
"Every student is going to have to know a certain minimum level of knowledge of technology, coding, and others. Technology is an enabler and the introduction of skill-based courses such as design thinking, robotics, coding and AI at our school is just the beginning," he told IANS.
Nikita Tomar Mann, the principal at the school, said that it is a fallacy that coding is a skill only required by those who choose the career of a coder or software programmer.
"For the future citizens of the new world order, Coding will be a vital 'Life Skill'. Creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving are touted as some of the skills of the 21st century, and one of the best ways to master these skills is to learn coding right from early schooling years," she emphasised.
According to Parul, coding should be a part of the curriculum for students as it can equip them with logical and algorithmic thinking skills.
"They can solve problems better and also build new apps to showcase their creativity," she added.