Everybody should learn.Wachira John
There is this book I’m reading; Op Center: Divide and conquer written by Tom Clancy. For all intended purposes, I think it is a nice book and I’d recommend it to anyone. The novel is nicely woven into a story involving a number of folk organized in sophisticated networks running across different countries trying to stage a coup in the most powerful nation by making the president believe he is mad. Quite some read. You should get it. Last time I went home, dad saw me reading a novel and told me to read them all I can because a time will come and I won’t be in a position to. So if you have the chance, do read. There are all kinds of goodies that come to those who read. 🙂
I’ve had a number of people ask me why I didn’t write an article last week and the week before that. Well, I wanted to, but things went this way, and that way, then poof, times were gone having me written nothing. I blame it on writer’s block (that thing, chuckle) and a few engaging things. I am sorry for the interlude that has been. Apologies are in order I believe. Still, I don’t have a clear angle about what I want to write about only that I must write. Weird. Someone did not believe me when I said I usually I’m curious just like everybody to see how my stories will end. I understand his disbelief. I’m the writer after all right? Wrong. It doesn’t always work like that. It is an art that satisfies its author and everyone in equal measure once the entire piece is done.
I was going through my archives and saw the blog post about Kasiluni comp camp under the Kids comp camp initiative. It’s an initiative by some brilliant minds to teach young kids basic skills about computers and at the same time preach Christ. I attended the Kasiluni one. It wasn’t only fun, but also a humbling experience. Seeing a kid who didn’t know what computers are transform to having an appreciation of why computers are important in these times felt very rewarding. I look forward to volunteering to more computer camps in future. Their website, http://kidscompcamp.com/
Not only do I think kids or anyone for that matter should learn the basics of computing, I think everyone should learn how to program a computer. Better still, incorporate programming classes in early school curriculum; well, at least the basics. (I know people who will squash me for saying that). But really, it is the information age. If we don’t keep up with tech, we risk being written off in the near future. I agree with the Comp camp team, kids are the best shot at securing our future.
Here’s why I think programming should be taught to young ones. They are young. Huh? I’m glad you asked. They are in their exploratory and creative stages. The scope of computing and generally programming is limited by our imagination. It is easy to inculcate to them at that age that computer technology is about humanity and helping people so that they use it for the right purposes. Introducing computers at that stage of their lives would be a good idea don’t you think? Contrary to the general misconception about programmers; usually perceived as solving mysteries mysteriously, (Never mind me.) programming is actually more of a process that breaks down problems than coming up with complex algorithms as people traditionally think about it. Steve Jobs once said that everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think. (That’s true by the way)
Don’t take my word for it, here are some of the greatest tech innovators and how they started:
Bill Gates. First had access to a computer at age 13. He created a program that determined which girls would be attending his class. (Hmmm)
Jack (Created Twitter) Parents bought him a computer at age 8.
Zuckerberg (Created Facebook). Introduced to computers while he was in 6th grade. He says, “Leaning how to program did not start with wanting to learn all about computer science or trying to master the discipline. It started as this simple thing that was fun for me and my sisters. So I wrote this simple program and when I needed to add something new, I looked it up either in books or on the internet.”
Ruchi, the first female Facebook engineer first interacted with programming at campus.
Vanessa who created Girl Develop It says, “You don’t have to be a genius to code, you just have to be determined.”
Drew, (Created Drop box) the first programs he wrote asked basic questions like what’s your favorite color. He says, “It is kind of intimidating but you get the hang of it over time. Being able to come up with an idea and seeing it in your hands and then pressing a button and seeing it in millions of people’s hands…I think we are the first generation in the world that’s had that kind of experience.”
I rest my case.
Learning how to program gives you the power to change the world. Period. There are free online platforms that can teach you how to program. I would recommend one that I am currently using called Codecademy accessible at https://www.codecademy.com/. Or code.org. It’s equally good. There is a programing language that has been optimized for kids by using animations and sounds called scratch. Feel free to check out their official website available at https://scratch.mit.edu/ .
Lastly, a quote by Gabe, creator of Valve. “The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. They will look like they have magical powers compared to everybody else.”