Dogtown Goes to D.C. for AppCon ’17, Pushes Education Reform

April 24, 2017 - 3 minutes read

It is Dogtown Media’s belief that laws that are good for tech are good for us all, which is why we’re so excited to be in the nation’s capital for AppCon ’17. Presented by ACT – The App Association and Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, the conference gathers tech execs and app developers from all over the U.S. to meet with lawmakers and advocate for policies that benefit the tech industry. Key issues at this year’s conference include preserving the open internet, reforming the tax system to help small businesses, strengthening intellectual property protections, and preventing FRAND abuses.

One of the principle issues that Dogtown is passionate about is computer education reform. In this day and age, Los Angeles app developers are well aware that the standard reading, writing, and arithmetic curriculum is outdated. Tech is at the center of our lives and the world’s economy, yet dedicated computer science courses are not yet the norm in American schools. Fewer than half of American classrooms teach computer science skills, and only a quarter of our schools offer an actual computer science-intensive class.

Because of this lack of computer science education, there are half a million computing jobs in America with nobody qualified to fill them. That number is expected to double by 2024. Just ask any app developer: these are not thankless, low-wage jobs — they are enviable careers with an average annual salary of more than $100,000. If these jobs continue to go unfilled, the American economy runs the risk of falling behind the international competition, especially with countries like the UK and Germany incorporating computer science in their K-12 curriculum as a required field of study. The U.S. needs to take similar steps to ensure its vitality in a tech-centric international economy.

As if the economic concerns were not enough, this lack of computer science literacy also impacts our national security. There is a dangerous lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals in this era of cyberwarfare — we cannot afford to fall further behind in this arena.

Dogtown Media hopes that by uniting with other app developers and tech industry leaders, we can persuade Congress to increase funding for computer science programs. If America wants to remain competitive in the global economy — not to mention protect itself from hackers from foreign governments — our education system needs to embrace technology and encourage our students to build the computer science skills so necessary for the future.

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