Reasons why we need to teach kids how to code

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Coding also referred to as programming is the act of writing lines of information that constitute a specific computer program. It is basically what makes the techie be able to create computer software, apps like Facebook, Twitter and websites. Truthfully, I have never really been interested in coding as my thinking has always been that coding is for the nerds and geeks people who would rather interact with a computer than a human being. This is until I participated in this year’s Hour of Code an CSR initiative by Microsoft. It is where I came to learn why it is important for kids to learn how to code and I will share why this is so.

Developing Problem Solving & Computational Skills

The skills that one learns while coding can help them develop new ways of thinking and can foster problem solving techniques. Think about this, Mark Zuckerberg was taught how to code by a programming teacher when he was 11 years old and he went on to build Facebook with a market valuation of $190 billion. What if all the children in Kenya were taught programming at such an early age, how far would we be as a country?

Preparing them for the job market

At the moment, technology and computers specifically have permeated almost all aspects of our lives. As such there are tons of jobs which require an ability to code for example web design, software development among others while for some other jobs like manufacturing knowledge on how to code can be a competitive advantage.

Also now that we use computers on a daily basis, I think it is important for the kids to know how they work

Coding is Fun

During this year’s Hour of Code, I got to witness kids being taught how to code for the first time. I could see the excitement in their eyes as soon as they were able to write lines of code that enabled then move characters in the game that they were building. For these kids their imagination was the limit as they could be able to write how the game works and how the creatures in the game behaved.

During the Hour of Code, it has been the cool peeps from Kids Comp Camp that have been running the training sessions. These guys are a group of volunteer who go around the country during school holidays teaching kids in underprivileged communities how to code. More often than not these kids usually touch a computer for the first time during these sessions showing how dire the situation is. With funding the guys from Kids Comp Camp intend to set up a well-equipped computer laboratory and also train an individual from the community on how to run the lab. If you would like to invite them to your area to conduct a training for kids, you contact them via their website.

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