Ubisoft Montréal has announced the CODEX program. It will deliver $8 million and more than 1,000 hours of volunteer instruction in coding and programming over five years to 17 different educational partners. The program will specifically serve kids in underpriveleged Canadian neighborhoods.
“We don’t get funded by the government, and it has taken us a while to get anyone’s attention,” explains Kids Code Jeunesse director and co-founder Kate Arthur. “We submitted for a grant for teacher training, but public schools in Canada don’t have the money to teach these types of programs. It’s not a priority in the Canadian government.”
Kids Code Jeunesse is one of the institutions partnered with Ubisoft Montréal. The partnership is a two-way deal; in return for funding, Kids Code Jeunesse will provide workshop training for Ubisoft developers.
“Ninety percent of developers don’t have the tools or, more importantly, the confidence to teach a room full of 6-year-old kids how to code,” Arthur explains. “Ubisoft benefits from kids learning to code. The math involved is huge — trigonometry, geometry — it’s quite in depth. But there’s a lot of demand from parents with kids who want to build games.”
Ubisoft Montréal CEO Yannis Mallat released a statement illuminating the motivation behind CODEX.
“Our mission through the CODEX program is to share our technological expertise and our knowledge of creative processes to prepare future generations for the challenges that await them. We are putting all our knowledge of video game production at our partners’ disposal so they can be equipped to motivate, inspire and teach the youth that form our next generation,” Yannis said.