Tycoon wants computer languages introduced to curriculum
BEVAN Slattery wants Australian students reading and writing a new language and he hopes to launch the innovative concept in Central Queensland within six weeks.
The self-made business tycoon met with CQUniversity representatives yesterday to discuss Concept-2-Code, a program he has devised that would see computer languages introduced to school curricula and university courses.
"I am concerned that we are missing one of the greatest opportunities to enable our next generation the skills needed to not just survive, but to thrive and take advantage of the fundamental shift that is happening," he said. "That skill is the ability to read and write computer code."
Mr Slattery, a former North Rockhampton High School student, is founder and executive deputy chairman of NextDC, a $450 million company building and operating carrier grade data centres.
He also co-founded PIPE Networks with fellow North Rockhampton High student Steve Baxter, which they later sold to TPG for almost $400 million.
Last year, Mr Slattery won the Benson Entrepreneur Award, which recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian ICT industry.
"I love Rockhampton and I am looking to give back to the community," he said. "If we get the support, which I am really optimistic about, I would like to think that within three to six weeks we could have C2C up and running in Central Queensland."
Writing computer code, in essence, was about taking a problem or idea, breaking it down into its logical steps and then creating a solution using software.
Mr Slattery said he would fund the C2C program, which he would jump-start with a competition for a Rockhampton school as a trial. He would push ahead with a wider program, including all Central Queensland school students and university students, early next year.
"Remarkable ideas are not restricted by geography," he said. "C2C is about people thinking of ideas and great concepts and participation."
He said that in his business dealings "it was all about technology" and no matter what industry was involved, software played a vital role.
"Understanding technology, logic and how software can do things in your organisation is very important."