No captionSixty high school students spent two days of their school holidays learning coding and designing computer games at Code Camp. Organised by the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft New Zealand, the two top teams presented their finished games to a Dragon\u2019s Den of IT experts. The winning game was Dodging Bullies, designed by Grace Hollamby (15) from Glendowie College, Jacob Rowland (15) from Pakuranga College, and Jona Stevenson (14) from Henderson High School. For Hollamby, Code Camp helped improve the skills she learnt earlier in the year at the JHack hackathon. \u201cNow I\u2019m thinking about a career pathway into computer science, so it\u2019s been good to have this experience,\u201d she says.No caption The best overall participant was Emma Chrisholm of Epsom Girls Grammar. She says the Code Camp was \u201creally cool\u201d. \u201cI\u2019m definitely interested in IT, but more in leadership and project management. I want to study computer science combined with a business or law degree. I\u2019d love to work somewhere like Apple or Microsoft one day,\u201d she says. Nigel Parker, director of developer experience at Microsoft New Zealand, says that opportunities like Code Camp are important to the future of the IT. \u201cOur aim is to get as many students as we can involved in learning IT. We need to grow the talent in New Zealand\u2019s IT industry, so we need to develop more skilled young people. \u201cThese kids really have a great career ahead of them, and we have to help them grow their skills,\u201d says Parker. \u201cBut more than just technical skills, today they\u2019re learning about teamwork, collaboration, innovation and creatives \u2013 these are the abilities that are going to stay relevant for them throughout their career, much longer than the specific tech skills." The students had a crash course in coding at JHack hackathon in July 2015,with 73 per cent of JHack participants signing up for second round at Code Camp. Other organisations that helped mentor the students were HP, Propellerhead, Auckland Transport, Orion Health, and Air New Zealand. No captionEdwina Mistry, Industry and Community Engagement Manager at MIT\u2019s Faculty of Business and IT and an organiser of Code Camp, says the aim is to keep the teens interested in IT.\u201cWe didn\u2019t want to give them just the\nintro, and then leave them alone. Code Camp offers the next step in learning\nabout coding, to keep challenging the students.\n\n\u201cAs well as coding itself, we\u2019ll be teaching them how to think outside the square, how to work in teams, and business, marketing and presentation skills \u2013 all are important for a career in IT. \u201cIt\u2019s a first step in a pathway from school, to a tertiary qualification, and a career in IT,\u201d she says.No captionNo captionNo caption She says among the measures of success was the feedback from participants like Jacob Rowland, 15, of Pakuranga College. \u201cThe hardest part was presenting our idea and public speaking,\u201d says Rowland. \u201cWe learnt a lot more during the Camp. I want to work in business and IT one day.\u201dNo captionSend news tips and comments to email@example.comFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nzClick here to read the Spring 2015 edition of CIO New ZealandSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.