5 Reasons Why Kids Should Start Coding Early by@lomitpatel
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5 Reasons Why Kids Should Start Coding Early

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Coding is the key to future jobs, but that’s only one of the benefits. The ability to code is fundamental to processing and visualizing and processing data and work. It's brilliant timing because children, by nature, are programmed to learn languages. The metaverse is soon expected to play a significant role in how we interact socially and financially and it's 100% made up of code. Learning to code prepares kids for the science of tomorrow: harnessing the power of machine learning and predictive capabilities to address global supply chains.

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@lomitpatel

Lomit Patel

Lomit Patel is a growth executive and author of Lean...

About @lomitpatel
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Coding is the key to future jobs, but that’s only one of the benefits.

Technology—and the coding that powers it—drives almost every aspect of our lives. From paying bills with a few clicks to creating a music playlist to driving a hybrid car to work from anywhere, we’re surrounded by computer interfaces. And as any frustrated parent who has ever relied on their child as a personal IT technician knows, today’s kids have a keen intuition when interacting with computers.

While the rewards are many, here are the top five reasons kids should begin coding at an early age:

1. Children learn more quickly than adults

Students as young as 12 years old are directed in school to choose a language like French or Spanish. It equips them with a broader perspective on international cultures and adds to their toolkit for navigating global societies. More than that, it’s brilliant timing because children, by nature, are programmed to learn languages. It’s in their evolutionary makeup.

While adults must consciously instill the rules and nuances of a new language, children unconsciously acquire it without even trying. You can read more about this phenomenon on this Penn State blog, but the point is this: the adolescent mind is quick to understand new forms of communication. And there is no language more international, critical to the modern world’s infrastructure, and more key to our technological future than coding.

2. Learning to code improves academic performance

Both math and writing skills come into play with coding. The coder must visualize abstract concepts, apply computational thinking, and keep an overall grasp on the “story” they’re telling. Coders identify problems, attempt solutions, evaluate outcomes, and revise decisions. Kids who code develop problem-solving skills and build resilience.

They also exercise their creativity through designing and experimenting. Moreover, the concepts behind coding aren’t over their heads. On the contrary, it adds a powerful dimension to tasks they already do, like sorting groups, counting, and alphabetizing, and gives them real-world applications in which to use them.

3. Learning to code opens up future opportunities

When we’re wowed by the special effects in a movie or get lost in the video game world, we’re observing the work of coders–digital artists who bring their imagination to life on the screen. Tech has always been a booming industry, and it will continue to be so.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Overall employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

Coding is not merely used in entertainment and media–you’ll also find it in the finance sector, retail, healthcare, sports, and every other profession where computers play any part. The metaverse is soon expected to play a significant role in how we interact socially and financially, and it’s 100% made up of code.

4. Learning to code prepares kids for the science of tomorrow

The pandemic—and the shockwaves it created—revealed just how interconnected and interdependent humanity is. It also told some of the COVID challenges we’ll have to face in the generation ahead. From tracking the virus to tracing its genealogy to analyzing data and testing possible treatments, the ability to code is fundamental to processing, visualizing, and sharing all these bodies of work.

Going a step further, harnessing the power of machine learning and predictive capabilities to address global supply chains, medical information, and climate trends will also rely on the ability to ask the right questions and communicate with computers—in other words, to code.

5. Learning to code builds confidence

The sense of empowerment from knowing how to code instills confidence in children that helps them navigate more than just the digital world. They see their ideas come to life and grow resilient, learning to use failure as a launchpad to explore alternate solutions.

They work through complex challenges, apply creative solutions, observe their successes, and realize that they can create worlds. They learn to see themselves not as passive users of different apps and games but as active creators, understanding all the tools at play. They’re not intimidated nor confused by the constant slew of updated, new-generation tech.

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At Tynker, we’ve empowered creativity and enhanced the skills of over 60 million young people and educators—by teaching them to code. We see it as a digital survival skill, and there’s no age too young to start. We’ve developed award-winning programs for all ages and skill levels, from teaching icon coding and voice commands to 5-year-old pre-readers and teaching teens JavaScript and Python. We make coding easy, we make it understandable, and, most of all, we make it fun.

Our kids will face tremendous challenges in the future. So let’s enable them with excellent opportunities. Teaching our youth to code means empowering future leaders, workers, and creators with the capacity to understand and respond to the demands of today, tomorrow, and the generation ahead.

About the Author

Lomit Patel is the Chief Growth Officer of Tynker, with 20 years of experience helping startups grow into successful businesses. Lomit has previously played a critical role in scaling growth at startups, including Roku (IPO), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax), Texture (acquired. by Apple), and IMVU (#2 top-grossing gaming app). Lomit is a public speaker, author, and advisor, with numerous accolades and awards throughout his career, including being recognized as a Mobile Hero by Liftoff. Lomit's book Lean AI is part of Eric Ries' best-selling "The Lean Startup" series.

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