Computer Programming: The Real Deal

Software is everywhere…literally!

Back in the summer of 2014, there was a news story stating that computer programming will be a mandatory subject and thus will be taught in all UK schools to children aged between 5 and 16 from September 2014 onwards. The same could very well apply to all US schools in the future as well.

I myself am a passionate programmer and so in some ways do welcome this news, but not in all ways!

Programming requires a specific working mind that involves a large proportion of problem-solving. While some kids may very well have such a skill naturally, I believe that not many do.  So my concern is that whether children, especially at the age of 5 would be ready to take on such a demanding subject. I think you could compare programming to algebra in some ways from a logical point-of-view. Not all kids. if any, are learning algebra at the age of 5 (correct me if I’m wrong…).

However, one person I tweeted to recently did state a fair point that teaching programming to kids at a younger age will help them to develop stronger problem-solving skills by the time they reach adulthood. One does not have to be a “genius” to learn programming. You could on this point compare programming to a linguistic language. You’re more likely to perform better if you learn the language at a younger age and thus, you’re more likely to remember it as the days and years pass by.

One could go on forever discussing the pros and cons of such a topic. But I think (if this idea pulls off), this could be a revolution in education for future generations.

Certainly from my perspective – having learnt programming since the age of 18 (I’m 25 now!), I would have for sure benefited greatly from learning programming when I was at school. At least now (thanks to a revolution called the Internet), there are plenty of on-line resources available as well many books teaching you how to program. I have just ordered a problem-solving book to help me with programming in that sense. Hopefully it’ll turn out to be a good buy!

Currently I’m learning a variety of web programming languages using Codecademy (www.codecademy.com) – anyone who hasn’t heard of this website and wants to learn programming, follow the link, you will not be disappointed! This website apparently will also be used in schools to help teach programming, which again I support greatly.

I’ll leave you with this:

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”. (Steve Jobs, 1995).

I certainly agree with the above (I’m hoping Steve Jobs needs no introduction…). For any programmers out there, I hope you agree. For those thinking of starting out, trust me, you’ll love it!!

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