Carlos Torres Vila promotes programming training among young people in Spain, through the Code.org educational platform, a non-profit organization that, since 2013, has been distributing educational content and fighting to incorporate programming as a compulsory subject for all students. “Today it is essential to promote programming training and promote it as a core subject in primary and secondary schools,” said the bank's Chair.
According to a study carried out by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), 76% of Spanish young people between 12 and 16 years of age are unaware what computer science is. In addition, introducing the language of programming from a very early age increases interest in studying computer science by up to 60%. This data is provided in a report by Code.org, a non-profit organization founded in the United States, with a presence in more than 180 countries, which promotes learning programming with educational content aimed at teachers and students.
Data and technology are changing the world. Not only socially and in our human relations, but also in the business world. Business models in different sectors are evolving radically and, as a result, data- and technology-related capabilities and knowledge are increasingly more necessary. There are numerous job vacancies that cannot be filled due to a lack of professionals with the required technological skills. This is why the BBVA Chair believes it is essential to start teaching these skills at an early age, and with a view to the future. “Knowing how to program will open doors when it comes to work, because it will be an indispensable requirement in many jobs,” he said.
“At BBVA we are committed to education because it is the engine of growth in society and is the gateway to opportunities. It is also fundamental for correcting the inequalities and gender gaps that exist in our society, which is why the Code.org initiative is so important,” explained Torres Vila.
Software in the banking sector, a growing presence
The BBVA Chair, who learned to program at the age of 15, argues that “ digitization has meant that software is everywhere in our society and economy, and it will become more and more so due to the incredible technological developments we are experiencing in artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and quantum computing. Programming allows us to create and invent, and that knowledge helps us to better understand a totally digitized world.”
Technological advances and digitization have an impact on all sectors of activity. In banking, technology allows us to offer a personalized, proactive and intuitive experience to customers, so that they can make the best financial decisions on a daily basis and achieve their medium and long-term goals. “Digitization enriches the service because, thanks to technology and data, we can help people and companies make better decisions when it comes to money. We stay ahead of their problems, simplify management, help them meet their business or life goals, and also help them become more sustainable,” he said.
Code.org in Spain
The Code.org platform is supported by global political, social and economic leaders, and is funded by some of the world's leading companies, governments and institutions. Public figures from all walks of life have participated in educational content to explain programming terms and concepts to young people in videos that have reached more than 60 million students around the world and two million teachers with accounts on the platform. The initiative arrived in Spain at the end of 2021 and has already accumulated 865,000 accounts from Spanish students and 30,000 from teachers.
BBVA has reached an agreement with Code.org to promote programming training among its employees and their environment. As a result of this agreement, 140 sons and daughters of BBVA employees will participate in a 12-week programming course starting in February.