Do you know how to program a computer in Java or Python? Thanks to the enterprising work of some employee volunteers in Eagan, Minn., several dozen young middle school students have learned valuable skills that could someday lead to careers in technology.

After noticing a lack of computer programming classes in schools, a group of Thomson Reuters technologists organized a series of classes for children of employees. The volunteers developed their own curriculum, served as instructors, and held classes on Saturday mornings.

The students learned the basics of the Python or Java languages. In doing so, they got first-hand experience in the computer coding intricacies that power the smartphones, computers and video games that many of them use every day. For some, this introduction to the world of programming could spark an interest that might one day lead to a career in technology.

COO of Technology Rick King awarded certificates to the students on the final day of classes to mark their achievements. King, who encouraged the employee volunteers in their efforts, recently blogged about the classes, which have stirred similar interest in other Thomson Reuters locations.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press took notice of the classes, and ran a story in their Sunday edition. The story noted that while more than 1.4 million computer jobs will need to be filled by 2020, fewer than one in ten schools currently offer programming classes.

Watch a video here of students commenting on the coding classes.

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