5 Reasons why your kids should learn how to code

Photo Credit: Black Girls Code

“Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think.” — Steve Jobs 1995

What is coding? Coding simply put is how we communicate with computers and what we use to build and run websites, apps, video games, and more. It is basically learning how to speak and write in a computer’s language. Software has become a part of almost everything we do today from our mobile phone apps for banking, apps for ride-hailing, google maps for navigation to websites for business etc.

According to Gabe Newell, co-founder of video game developer Valve. “The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future, you’re going to look like you have magic powers compared to everybody else.”

Here are some reasons why your kids should learn how to code:

1. Coding helps kids develop problem-solving skills

Coding is about solving problems. It is about breaking down real-life complex problems into different parts and solving them block by block.  It enhances one’s ability to define clear steps to solve a problem or a task. Computational concepts like sequencing and conditional logic (if then else) are frequently utilised throughout coding. This skill can also be transferred to several other fields including mathematics, physics and solving real-world problems.

2. Coding early breaks down gender gaps

Over the years, STEM and coders have been stereotyped to be mainly for males and also from certain ethnic background or nationality. Teaching kids to code early is important to show kids that anyone can code. Statistics have shown that kids who learn to code and/or get involved in the STEM field are more likely to major in a STEM discipline like Computer Science or Engineering in the future.

3. Coding facilitates creativity and develops a new skill

Kids learn through discovery and experimentation. They create programs from scratch when they code allowing them to embrace their creativity.

Coding can now be likened to learning how to swim, play the piano or football. It is basic literacy in the Digital Age today. The world is online, the internet is now essential for work, finding information, and connecting with others. It is a valuable skill for the future.

4. Coding presents opportunities for Future employment

Today programming/coding has become one of the most respectable, high-paying jobs one could get. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, IoT and robotics there will continue to be a high demand for programmers in the market worldwide. Learning to code early is an advantage for kids.

5. Coding teaches perseverance and resilience

There is nothing more frustrating than a code that just won’t work! With coding comes debugging (stepping through the code to find errors). There is an excitement that comes with creating something new that doesn’t let you give up building resilience in character.

The good news is that kids can start learning how to code even as early as 4 with organisations like 9JACodeKids, Early Stemmer,  STEM Café, and more.

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