Did you know that Mark Zuckerburg, the CEO of Facebook, had a coding tutor in middle school? Or that Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, spent the majority of his childhood writing computer programs?
Learning how to code is not as complex as it sounds; 7-year-olds are doing it. Your kid can learn how to code in three short months and you don’t have to be a coding expert to make that happen.
Wondering how? It is almost easy really.
Coding is like a language.
Coding helps us communicate with computers, smartphones, and other digital devices.
It is the process of creating instructions for computers to take specific actions. Imagine writing a recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a friend — you are the programmer and your friend is the computer. The more precise the recipe is, the better the sandwich.
Coding languages are either
- Visual: these languages use drag and drop functions instead of typing. e.g. Scratch and Blockly.
Can your kid learn these programming languages?
We suggest starting with visual programming languages for elementary and middle school kids. They are very popular because of the ease of learning and remembering. However, there is no need to stop a child who loves text-based coding.
Teenagers could start with text-based programming even without prior programming experience.
Find a good language best suited for their expertise level and way of thinking. Whatever language you choose to start with, the focus is to help your kid become curious and ready to learn.
What your kids can do once they learn how to code
At age 14, Arjun Kumar designed an app that helped parents who have children traveling to school via school bus. The app lets them know where the bus is, whether their child is on the bus, and calculates when the bus reaches home.
Micheal Sayman was 12 when he started coding. He created the game 4-snaps. The earnings from that game helped his family get through tough times during the 2012 recession.
“Girls Will Code” is a community that encourages girls to participate in activities related to coding, programming, robotics, and engineering. The founder, Isabel Sieh, started coding at age 10.
Now, let’s get your kids started
First, get them to start learning something and talking about it. It is okay to start small as you and your kid learn to understand coding better.
You could also start with an online coding course here. Your kids will learn with real engineers working on cool projects at top tech companies.
The ability to code is not the only reason to teach your kids coding. Coding opens the mind to endless possibilities. It develops in kids the skills that make a good success story — resilience, creativity, and problem-solving.