As programmers we appreciate why knowing how to code is really important. But if you find it difficult to express why, this infographic gives five reasons – and I’m sure you can add more.
During Computer Science Week, Code.org aims to give 10 million kids an hour of code. It may not be much but at least it’s a recognition that it’s a good idea for kids to learn how to code.
Of all the reasons I think a variation of the third in the list is the most convincing. Learning to program makes you approach problem solving in a better way. For example, It prompts you break down complicated problems that seen intractable into smaller parts that can be solved. Once you’ve acquired this a way of thinking it extends to everything you tackle – and allows you to succeed where others would simply give up.
Certainly the sooner you introduce programming to kids the more easily they will absorb it and in this sense it is like learning a foreign language. However, at whatever age you introduce it, it is the combination of imagination plus the ability to harness computing power that empowers the individual to turn ideas into action and experience the thrill of empowerment.
The infographic concludes with the economic motivating force behind the current drive towards teaching programming to all kids. Years of neglect of computer science education means the US is now facing a huge shortfall in people qualified to take on jobs that require programming skills. The prospect of an above average salary should motivate kids to learn programming – but it does rather leave unanswered the question of who is going to teach them.