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What Is Hour of Code?

One Hour Is All You Need to Get Started With Code

Held every December to commemorate the birthday of the world's first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, today marks the start of Computer Science Education Week, a program to inspire students in grades K-12 to take an interest in computer science education by participating in Hour of Code. Over 48 million people have already signed up to take coding classes, and organizers want to reach 100 million students by the end of 2014.

President Obama kicked off Hour of Code by encouraging young people to develop their programming skills and honor America's heritage as a "nation of tinkerers and inventors." In fact, he tried his hand at a program with a group of students earlier this week, where he also highlighted the facts that women were some of the earliest innovators in computer sciences.

Want to have a student you know participate or take the week's celebrations to get involved yourself? Opt for one of these ways to celebrate Hour of Code whatever your age.

Attend a Class or Complete a Tutorial

  • Hour of Code Events — Send your student to an Hour of Code event by finding one in your neighborhood; nonstudents can participate too with special Hour of Code events in their communities.
  • Tutorials — has dozens of tutorials intended for students brand new to programming or those who want to add more time to their one hour of code lesson. Fans of Anna and Elsa can program the characters to ice skate out snowflake patterns with the Frozen Coding Tutorial.
  • Microsoft Imagine and Microsoft Stores — From the comfort of home would-be coders can visit the Microsoft Imagine website to create games directly from the website. Alternatively, Microsoft stores nationwide are hosting coding workshops which will allow students to program and play their own games.
  • Apple Stores — On Thursday, Dec. 11, Apple stores around the world will host free one-hour coding workshops, along with other events aimed at developers and engineers in honor of Computer Science Education Week. Sign up for a local store's workshop by visiting
  • Khan Academy — In honor of Hour of Code 2014, Khan Academy has four one-hour classes focusing on JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SQL. When you're ready to go beyond the hour, the site has plenty of other computer programming courses available to expand your knowledge.
  • Girl-Powered Coding Camps — Help women change the face of STEM career fields by encouraging the girl in your life to attend one of these programming courses designed just for girls.

Download an App

The iTunes App Store has a landing page of related Hour of Code apps including those made just for kids, like Hopscotch, to grown-up-themed apps, like Codecademy's Code Hour. iTunes U courses like Stanford's Programming Methodology give a deeper (and free!) look into the world of computer science.

Make a Donation

With six days remaining, An Hour of Code For Every Student is already IndieGogo's most successful crowdfunding campaign to date, raising $4.2 million of its $5 million goal to give every student an hour of coding education in the classroom. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pledged $1 million to the cause, and other donors and companies including Bill Gates, Google, and Microsoft have pledged to match contributions dollar for dollar. Currently, estimates nine out of 10 schools don't offer computer programming classes, so this money will be directed to training teachers on adding computer science to their curriculum.

Volunteer Your Time

Software engineers can volunteer their time by teaching at a programming club like Coder Dojo. Or help to improve's tutorials by spending 10 minutes to add user feedback that will help students better understand where they may have missed a step and made an error in one of the 100-plus puzzles offers students.

Image Source: Flickr user kjarrett
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