‘I don’t care who codes, as long as we all have the opportunity’

Amy Mather, a 15 year old geek, shares her thoughts on coding, gender and why we should all be more creative with technology.

Tomorrow's world: I am the future, with Amy Mather & Martha Lane Fox.

Speakers from all corners of the open data community came to share their insights at the ODI Summit on 4 November, with talks on how open data is making huge impacts in diverse sectors, from government and business to culture.

The youngest speaker was 15 year old Amy Mather, who spoke with Baroness Martha Lane Fox about her love of coding and technology. Amy won Digital Girl of the Year in 2013, and is making a name for herself as a young pioneer of digital innovation.

Amy talks about how she wants to get more young people, particularly girls, involved in creating things using technology and coding. She says that while not everybody needs to code, we all need the opportunity to understand what it is. Everyone should feel able to make their own website or app, and not have to rely on someone else to do it for them.

We all have technology in our homes, and will expect it to get more advanced. According to Amy, this is why we should not feel as though we can only be consumers of technology, but strive towards being creators of it. “In the future, everyone is going to expect to have more advanced technologies, but if nobody's learning about it then no one is going to be able to create that future technology," Amy says.

Amy also speaks about why she thinks coding should be part of the curriculum, but also that we need to expand opportunities for computing outside of education, too.

Her thoughts were echoed by fellow Summit 2014 speaker Maggie Philbin, who founded TeenTech in 2008.

Maggie Philbin - TeenTech and open data.

Amy says that open data will give us all the opportunity to learn how to do things, we can't just have it for the privilege because it should be free. Amy says she has used open data herself to find out when specific tweets are best received on Twitter, using the Twitter API, and to compare child poverty levels in towns near her home of Manchester.

Amy humbled us all at the ODI Summit, so much so that she received a standing ovation. One to watch in the digital world.