Barring a brief encounter in year 8 with Scratch and HTML, I did not enter the world of coding until the age of 19. As an avid gamer, and general tech aficionado, I am bitterly disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to learn coding at a younger age, either as part of the school curriculum or as an extra curricular activity.
However, on reflection, and from developing a curriculum for a coding club, I can see a number of ways in which coding would have been beneficial during my education.
1. It teaches important life skills:
Patience, determination and a problem-solving mentality are all tenents of coding. Having to constantly debug errors keeps students on edge. As such, coding serves to develop character and a hard work ethic- teaching students to work through adversity towards their goals.
2. Applicability across education:
A prerequisite of trying to run successful code is correct punctuation and grammar. To ensure that there are no errors, you have to carefully dissect your spelling and use of punctuation, meticulously correcting any mistakes. This heavily lends itself to English- and any other written based subjects.
Furthermore, through learning coding you directly become incredibly well-versed in all facets of the keyboard. Coding tremendously helps in upskilling your keyboard knowledge; teaching the utility of important keys such as the function and shift keys.
Learning code at a young age, and then continuing it throughout your education, stands you in good stead if you wish to pursue a career within it. Having that innate knowledge of how to write, ingrained through a young age can lead to a career in developing software, apps or even video games. You say to most kids- would you like to develop your own game: yes! There’s also a high demand for coders, and as such if you are willing and able, then there is work for you.
However, coding is no easy task. Trying to learn in early adulthood is kind of like a three legged race; being weighed down, as you desperately try to move forward.