10 reasons why your kid should learn to code - Part 1

10 reasons why your kid should learn to code - Part 1

Categorized under: computer science education for kids

Often when you are in neck deep in an industry, you might assume that everyone has the same framework or point of reference when it comes to the importance of kids learning to code. However, instead of assuming, we thought it would be important to clearly state the 10 reasons why we think your kid should learn to code. This will be a 3 part series. Without further ado, here are the 1st 3 reasons:
 1. Technological Disruption - Every industry has been fundamentally or is in the process of being disrupted by technology. Whether it is railroads which have been around forever needing to know the real-time position of their trains to better service their customers or fast food restaurants introducing automated kiosks to improve order accuracy and speed; there are a wide variety of improvements that technology facilitates. The benefits that accrue to companies within industries that best leverage technology are massive. As a result, competitors are in a race to see who can best align their entire business model to advances in technology. Kids who understand coding are best positioned to see around corners and imagine not only what's ripe for disruption by how to play an active role in that disruption so they aren't left behind.
 2. Technology fluency - The jobs of the future will require technology fluency. For many years, knowledge and understanding of how computers were programmed and networked was the domain of a small group of highly-talented engineers and developers. However, as we move from a world of technology as feature to one of technology as the foundation for competitive advantage, everyone in the organization will need to be fluent on how technology works. Modern day executive assistants must be knowledgeable on wireless networking to solve connectivity issues. This fluency will accelerate as more and more business processes are developed with an eye towards the best use of technology.

3. Language of business - Computer Coding is the emerging language of business. There is often debate about whether or not coding is a traditional language like English, Spanish or French. Usually, embedded within that debate is a tension around whether or not kids should study coding as part of their general electives in school. The current debate somewhat misses the point. In high school, I studied Spanish for 4 years and then ultimately had an opportunity to launch a new vehicle platform in Mexico for Ford Motor Company. Although I had reached the AP level and even earned college credit for my knowledge of Spanish, once I got to Mexico; I realized my conversational Spanish was awful. I was still hearing in Spanish, translating what I heard to English, developing my response in English and then translating my response back into Spanish. It was like talking to someone who was on a time delay. So, I endeavored to get much better and built relationships with the locals and refused to speak anything but Spanish even when English was an option. By the end of my assignment, I was hearing in Spanish and responding in Spanish. Once I left Mexico, because I wasn't embedded in that environment; my skills rapidly deteriorated. With coding, the environment is very different; it's much more similar to English in terms of global reach. Every country, every industry, every company is anchored to programming as the language of business. While, there are different dialects (Python, Ruby, JavaScript), there is no risk of a kid learning to program and then not being able to use that knowledge anywhere else in the world. And just like when I was in Mexico being in the world of programming means that you comprehend and communicate in that language as a native speaker.

What other reasons do you think it is important to learn to code? Check out Part 2 to see our next 4 reasons why we think it is important to learn to code!

About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the Co-Founder & CEO of Digital Adventures.