Why is it Important to Teach Coding to Kids in 2017 and Beyond

A few decades ago, being able to communicate well (particularly in the English language) was considered a sign of quality education, and a fundamental requirement in the professional world.

But that was back then. Today the world is changing at a rate that we have never seen before. Websites, applications, and tools are built to make our lives easier. There are home automation gadgets that do the pettiest of the tasks for you. Even the alarm clocks are smart, for heaven’s sake!

As the world transitions to a trajectory, one must need to master how to communicate with machines in order to stay competitive. And there is no other way a machine communicates other than code.

Yes, coding isn’t reserved to programmers alone. Give it a few years, and coding will become as essential to our daily lives as human language is today.

And what other way you can prepare for a highly automated future than to teach your kids the art of coding. So, in this article, I’ll be discussing a few things that will prepare you and your children for the present, and the future too.

The Why

Let us first discuss the reasons that make it so important for our newer generation to learn to code.

It will benefit the kids in the long run

Teaching kids how to code will be beneficial for them in the long run. Not only that it would give them a skill that they can use for life, but you will also be preparing them for a number of new jobs that will emerge as a result of the high inclination of our society towards technology.

It is estimated that in 2015, there were seven million job openings that require coding skills. Not to mention that programming-related jobs grew 12% faster than the market average.

kids learn programming
Jutheanh

There will be a great demand for IT specialists, Data Analysts, Graphic Artists and Designers, Systems Engineers, and Computer Scientists in the future.

Coding has already become a vital part of employment requirements. And if you want your kids to have a competitive career, better give it an early head start.

It develops good habits for your kids

If you want to teach them a couple of values, then coding can be a good way to do so. There are so many virtues anyone can pick up while writing code.

Learning how to code teaches your kids to be persistent. When something goes wrong in the code, (and trust me, things do go wrong most of the time) your kid would try again and again till he/ she gets the right results.

Solution finding is another habit that coding can teach your kid. And as a programmer, you do a lot of things like running tests, debugging and all that just to find the problem and solve it. Your kid will do the same during his/ her process of learning to code.

Programming also teaches your kids how to be efficient. This will help them not to waste precious time or effort on things that really won’t give them any gain. They will learn that in everything that they do, there will always be a more efficient way to do it.

They will learn how to organize stuff, and keep them clean in order to easily find things when they get lost. They will learn how to tag things and measure them to save the most time possible.

The How

If you’re convinced enough but you don’t know how to help your kid learn to code, then go on and read the following.

How can I teach my kid to code?

This is probably the first question a parent will ask. A lot of parents are probably just as clueless at programming as their kid is, and that is okay.

The best part of programming is that you can learn it at any age. And although the retention of different languages can be difficult for the more advanced in years, it can still prove to be a great experience.

teach them programming
Tim Gouw

The best way to approach this is to learn with them. You can pique interest in your children if they see you doing the same. So if you put in some extra time trying to learn how to code, and be really interested in it, your kids will follow.

Where can they take courses?

One of the benefits of this generation is that you can learn pretty much everything online. There are coding tutorials everywhere, so it wouldn’t be as difficult to find one that suits your kids. However, the track on which you could learn is the important aspect of this. With all the many choices you have, which one can you take?

Here are a couple of websites that can help your kids learn to code.

These are great examples but there will be times your children would want to learn more using tactile and tangible objects, like toys. You can also suggest to them a few toys like:

What languages can they learn?

Now that you know where your children can learn, you may probably be asking, what can they learn. There are many programming languages out there and picking one is as difficult as picking a language elective at school.

coding languages to learn
Boskampi

And sometimes, picking a language that a programmer specializes in, defines him in a lot of ways. So it’s important to choose what is easiest to learn, and what is best in the long run.

Python

Phyton is first in this list because its syntax is more attuned to normal speech. Python code is well-written and easy to understand as if you are literally talking to a computer. Kids would find it easier to adapt into Python because of this, and it teaches them the programmer’s mindset.

They will build programming foundations with Python because of its ease of use, and they can look up code libraries online without a sweat.

Ruby

Ruby is the easiest to read syntax-wise for newbies. This language will eliminate a lot of hours explaining how the code works because it is pretty much self-explanatory. This is great because Ruby will make it easier for the kids to understand the concepts of programming.

Your kids will learn one or two good scripts and they are set to a good start. It is also used to create the first iteration of Twitter so your kids will see how much value it can provide for them if they want to build things.

Java

Java is a bit more challenge than the previous ones, but learning Java will be like taking a step onto a higher ladder of programming. Learning java makes it easier for anyone to understand other languages as well. Java has been here for twenty years or so and your kids will find so many resources to use online.

Sum & Substance

Technology is moving faster, and almost everything is shifting to computers nowadays. You have to adapt and so should your kids. Teaching them how to code is the first step in preparing them for a world that requires everyone to talk to computers in order to solve problems from things as mundane as checking the weather to flying other humans into the stars.

So start them young. Who knows, you might have just been grooming the next Bill Gates, or the new Mark Zuckerberg.

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