02:59 - Source: CNN
Can you really teach code in a day?

Editor’s Note: Smart Business explores the ways companies are thinking smart to thrive in our digitized world.

Story highlights

Decoded teaches people how to code in just one day

The company has hubs in London, New York and Sydney, and has taught businesses from Unilever to the BBC

Co-founder Kathryn Parsons believes that code is the building block of today's world

CNN  — 

It’s the building block for most of the world’s technology, from websites to apps that we use everyday. We’re talking about code: an integral part of our lives, but something that most people have no idea about the workings of. Smart Business meets Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded – a company that teaches people how to code in just one day.

CNN: What spurred you on to launch Decoded?

Kathryn Parsons: We started the company with a very simple but challenging mission: could you teach anyone and everyone to code in a single day? Taking someone from zero skills, zero knowledge and zero confidence to these words that we use all the time – digital enlightenment.

CNN: Why is it so important for people to learn to code?

KP: Code is the building block of the world around us today. Technology is transforming every single industry all our lives are being rapidly affected by the pace of technological change – it’s the languages of billions now. But how many of us can say that we truly feel confident or empowered by the technologies behind the screen?

We all should be understanding and feel confident of those technologies, whether you want to become a programmer and developer or you simply want to lead a business that’s being transformed by technology.

CNN: Decoded has taught more than 2,000 different businesses how to code. What does the program entail?

KP: When somebody comes to a Decoded course, they are asked to do no pre-work; nothing. Everything is prepared for you, usually in a wonderful space because we believe that space is conducive to good learning. We explain the history of how this world evolved, explain all the characters and individuals who created the technologies around us, and then we get you right to the computer. We want to get you coding as soon as possible.

Essentially, you build an app in a single day using languages including javascript and HTML, and you get to think like a developer, think like a computer and break down problems. We set you a brief, and ultimately, you solve that problem.

CNN: Are there lost causes when it comes to spreading digital enlightenment?

KP: The only lost cause when it comes to teaching coding to someone who thinks: “I’m driving the car: why do i need to understand what’s under the bonnet?” That’s something that I used to hear quite a while ago and it does tend to be, if they’re asking that question or saying that it probably means that they’re leading a business.

If you’re leading a business at the moment, the one thing that is erratically changing your business right now is technology: in terms of skills, in terms of your consumers, in terms of the marketplace that you exist in. It’s not so much that i wash my hands of those people, i just worry about the future and where they might be in three years’ time.

CNN: What is Decoded’s biggest challenge?

KP: It’s how can you actually condense six months, a year – even twenty years of knowledge into a very short period of time. But we kind of relish that challenge, and it’s always a barometer for us. And the great thing about technology is that when you understand it and feel empowered by it, anything is possible.