REASONS WHY WE NEED TO TEACH CODING TO CHILDREN AT A YOUNG AGE

It develops your problem solving skills and creativity

Coding is important to learn because computer programming teaches children to experiment and gives them the confidence to be creative. Mathematics and logic are fundamental for writing code. You must apply the rules and components of a programming language to most efficiently accomplish a given task. The best coders are those that are creative and logical. Programmers first write out a “pseudocode”, or outline of how to accomplish a desired task. The “pseudocode” is usually informal and serves as a way for a programmer to organize their thoughts. The programmer then converts the pseudocode into the programming language of choice. Writing pseudocode helps you to see a large problem, break it down into smaller pieces in order to solve it in an effective manner. Being able to organize your thoughts and problem solve well at a young age will help you to overcome any adversity you might face in the future.

It teaches you to be resilient

Anyone with even the slightest experience in programming knows just how frustrating it can be. Errors, whether logic or syntax based, are absolutely unavoidable. Debugging is a huge part of coding. Hitting bumps is not necessarily such a bad thing though because it teaches you to learn from your mistakes and keep pushing forward. If people begin coding at a young age, they will learn quickly that failure is not the end of the path, but merely part of the journey. They will learn to persevere through obstacles more gracefully and not feel discouraged. Also, when a child is able to fix their own mistakes and overcome a challenge, their confidence and self competence grows.

Programming is the future (and present)

Technology is evolving at an exponential rate. Whether it be by withdrawing money from an ATM, driving your car to the grocery store, or Googling a lasagna recipe, computational technology is embedded into our daily lives. Almost every business depends on programming in order to function. Having experience in coding will be a highly desirable trait for any employer, regardless of which profession a person decides to pursue.

There is a shortage of computer developers

According to Code.org, 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing, yet only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. For whatever reason, there is a stigma for coders. As a High School teacher, most of my students refused to even consider taking a computer science class because they deemed the field as “super nerdy”. Most of these students had this impression of coding even though they didn’t have the slightest grasp of what computer science even was. I believe that if children were taught to code at an early age, their perspective on it wouldn’t be as negative. They would be more aware of what it is, and that it’s not just for “nerds”. Maybe then there also wouldn’t be such a shortage of STEM professionals.

It improves your communication skills

When people learn how to code, they learn how to communicate with the most simple-minded audience imaginable: computers. A programming language is just that, a language. Coding teaches kids how to break down complex ideas and arrange them in a language that computers can understand. Communication is an absolutely essential skill throughout school, work, and life. People who can clearly communicate complex ideas in simple terms tend to be successful in different industries and walks of life. Also, since debugging is a big part of coding, programmers depend on each other for help. Collaboration is a key component in software development. When a child learns to code, they learn how to effectively articulate their questions and explain their thought processes.

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