Why Kids Should Learn How to Code?

Increases critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

For many developers like myself, part of the appeal of coding is the challenge and reward of seeing my code come to life after debugging. Coding, debugging and remixing your own and other people’s code is fundamentally problem-solving activities. This will help kids to go back and think about what just happened and quickly solve the problem. Kids will learn to break big problems down into smaller manageable peace and also to use already gained knowledge on their own little projects.

 

I think everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.
– Steve Jobs

 

Future Job Ready

With the knowledge of programming, anyone can become superheroes, with this skill their opportunities will increase which can open pathways in, medical, science, engineering, defence, space and more. In the next 25 years, 71% of all new jobs will be required to have some STEM knowledge and 15% of the jobs in the future will be all automated, this includes such things as drivers, train/bus drivers, and other factory jobs. Learning to code will increase your child’s odds of securing a lucrative STEM career, especially in a world where computing jobs are growing at over twice the national average.

 

I wrote my first software program when I was thirteen years old. It was for playing tic-tac-toe. The computer I used was huge and cumbersome and slow and absolutely compelling.
– Bill Gates

 

Turning Ideas To Action

Once kids have the foundations of how to code, this then gives them the platform to start building whatever they desire. A famous example is Bill Gates who learned how to code when he was in eighth grade. His first program was in BASIC and was a computer representation of Game Tic Tac Toe. At the age of 15, he and Paul Allen made $20,000 with a computer program called Traf-O-Data which measured traffic flow in Seattle area.

Another example is Linus Torvalds the creator of the Linux operating system and Git starting to learn to code when he was in primary school just by doing simple stuff. When he started Linux he called it a “Hobby”, now the Linux operating system is a widely known within the IT community, it also powers 446 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers.

Programming Is Awesome And Fun.

With programming kids can make and produce many fascinating applications, they may build games, apps, websites, chat bots and much more. Children can tap into their creativity and produce things that us adults wouldn’t have imagined.

For many, part of the appeal of coding is the challenge and reward of seeing their code come to life after a good debugging session. Don’t be fooled, however–with the right instruction, getting started with programming can be easy and fun.

Programming is the language of the digital age.

When was I was growing up I wasn’t introduced to my first phone until I was in year 11, nowadays children are growing up differently than the previous generations. We are surrounded by Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets, Youtube, Netflix, and Facebook which are embedded in their daily lives. Even the toys are digital including Legos, LeapFrogs, Spheros and whiteboards. With this we need to understand the importance of the logic behind them, understanding the mechanics and code helps them understand the world.

 

Top 4 Programming Language to Learn in 2017

Writing Code - Programming Languages

1. HTML/CSS

For any website to run and work, it will require HTML which stands for Hypertext Markup Language and CSS which Cascade Style Sheets. Both are fairly easy to learn but if you want to have a functional website CSS makes everything look pretty. HTML/CSS is an essential skill to have such that all websites are built on these current web technologies.

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2. Python

Fast and ultra portable programming language, used by some of the biggest tech companies in the  world like Google, Dropbox and YouTube. Python is super easy to learn,  recommended as a beginner’s programming language by many people including us.

Python is currently big on data Analytics, finances and data representation. Large banking and finance companies use this to comb through big data sets to predict what will the economy will look like, shares, stocks and other financial services.

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3. Ruby

Ruby is a high-level programming language and a popular general purpose language. Currently in high demand in the marketplace, as it has more commonly used with Ruby on Rails framework to develop web applications. Concise and readable, it is easy to pick up but also plenty powerful. Companies like Twitter, Soundcloud, Goodreads and Kickstarter got their products off the ground with Ruby.

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4. Javascript

JavaScript is the programming language of the web, works alongside HTML/CSS. It is currently one of the most popular and in demand skills in today’s job market for a good reason. JavaScript is the backbone of modern websites it enables additional functionality such as smooth scroll, responsive design and animations. Javascript is also the foundation of a lot of commonly used libraries like jQuery and frameworks like AngularJS, ReactJS and NodeJS.

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Where To Learn?

If you want to a career change the best place to start learning to program is Udacity, if you want to just up skill yourself the second best place is Udemy.  Udacity is slightly pricey which won’t work for some people with a tight budget or some students. Plus side is the courses are supported by big tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google. On Udemy you can choose various courses not just, programming, equally good as you can up skill yourself in other areas.

You would also like to check out Coursera and Code School

HELP With Programming!

If you ever get stuck while programming you can ask Google for some help. A few good websites to bookmark are Stackoverflow and Quora.

 

 

10 TED TALKS TO WATCH RIGHT NOW – TECHNOLOGY

1. Will Marshall: Tiny satellites that photograph the entire planet, every day

Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs’ Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster — by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites — no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters — that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.

2. Massimo Banzi: How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination

Massimo Banzi helped invent the Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source microcontroller that’s inspired thousands of people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine — from toys to satellite gear. Because, as he says, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great.”

3. Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing

2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things — including intricate objects once impossible to create.

4. R. Luke DuBois: Insightful human portraits made from data

Artist R. Luke DuBois makes unique portraits of presidents, cities, himself and even Britney Spears using data and personality. In this talk, he shares nine projects — from maps of the country built using information taken from millions of dating profiles to a gun that fires a blank every time a shooting is reported in New Orleans. His point: the way we use technology reflects on us and our culture, and we reduce others to data points at our own peril.

5. Manu Prakash: A 50-cent microscope that folds like origami

Perhaps you’ve punched out a paper doll or folded an origami swan? TED Fellow Manu Prakash and his team have created a microscope made of paper that’s just as easy to fold and use. A sparkling demo that shows how this invention could revolutionize healthcare in developing countries … and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment.

6. Fabian Hemmert: The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone

In this short, amazing demo, Fabien Hemmert imagines one future of the mobile phone — a shape-shifting and weight-shifting handset that “displays” information nonvisually. It’s a delightfully intuitive way to communicate.

7. Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves

Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.

8. Renny Gleeson: Our antisocial phone tricks

In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world — where the experience we’re having right now is less interesting than what we’ll tweet about it later.

9. Markus Fischer: A robot that flies like a bird

Plenty of robots can fly — but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011.

10. New Bionics Let Us Run, Climb and Dance | Hugh Herr

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that’s both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.

STEM Stereotypes: Harmless or impeding innovation?

I think it’s time that we all talk about the elephant in the room, that is; the sheer dominance of males in STEM related subjects. From the obvious gender gap prevalent in all disciplines of engineering to the involvement of women in coding, the ratio is off. Girls at a young age will continue to fuel this unconscious bias unless they are encouraged to cultivate their interest in STEM at a young age.

Why does this matter you ask? Science has proven woman are inherently different in their thinking compared to men. If so, we are missing out on almost half the world’s population of thinking that can complement the male centric niches that currently exist. When a different perspective is added into the mix you are ultimately extending the frontiers of innovation.

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of ever growing innovation. We have come significantly far in terms of scientific and technological advancement as a species in the past century than we have in the thousands of years prior to this. We are placing a bottleneck in the process of this advancement if we limit STEM to only male populations.

The STEM talks given in the final years of high school to students are vain attempts. Girls have long before decided the paths that they see themselves pursuing.

No, instead, it begins from our homes and from the early ages of primary school. Girls need to be exposed to STEM and be given assurance that they are more than capable to excel in their related passions as long as they have the will and eagerness to learn. This begins with eliminating the gender stereotypes that emerge at a young age. Girls should be empowered to pick up a laptop and code away projects. Women need to be assured that there is nothing masculinely exclusive about tinkering with arduino projects. It is there for the taking.
The success of this will be testified when we start to see the notion that women interested in cars is the equivalent of women interested in tech, attractive and captivating. We will have made it when we see the female equivalent of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk in the respective industries of STEM.