Why is programming the key for success in the next generation?

Everybody should learn to program a computer,

because it teaches you how to think. - Steve Jobs (1995)


Programming and technology is arguably the most useful tool mankind currently has. It is the direct result of our curiosity and desire to make life easier that has allowed this innovation to develop.


We see programming implemented everywhere around us in the modern world. The very device you and I are reading this on is an example of this. The TV’s, phones, and laptops that allow us to open the door to endless connections all stem from the knowledge to program.


But, in a world where the technology already exists, why do we need to learn? Why not let the people who already know how to write code and build do it for us? It is like living in a world with words you can't read. You won’t be able to fully utilize your mind and your creativity. Programming engages many skills that are useful in everyday life, such as problem solving, leadership, and math.


In order to overcome errors and truly make a program from scratch, it takes effort. Not just any far pitched effort, but those specific to the problem at hand. Students will learn that not every mishap and adversity they face has a clear solution. Instead, they will have to utilize and adjust accordingly.

Sometimes it might just be an issue of misspelling a keyword or forgetting a semicolon at the end of statements. Other times it might be an issue regarding the structure of the program entirely. In both situations, they will learn and develop the skill to debug their code. The many scenarios they will face while programming will help them become more efficient programmers and confident people.


Another skill programming utilizes is knowing how to coordinate with others and employ an active role, or leadership. Programming isn't a one person job, it requires a team. In the world of tech, feedback and response is key. A program made by one person can work, a program made by many can

be enjoyable. In real life, you may not agree with everyone, and at times it can be difficult to come to terms. However, over many team building activities, projects, and hackathons, students will be able to better coordinate themselves with others, and be more productive. This skill of leadership can then be utilized anywhere and can prove to be extremely useful in the real world.


"The long-term value of collectively improving the skills of everyone on the team outweighs the cost of the additional time spent working to complete a project. - TEECOMlabs (2018)"



Finally, the farther a student progresses in code, the better and more appreciative they will become towards math. Why? Because they will learn how and why math is used in the real world. Children of all ages -and some adults- despise math and ignore just how useful it can be. However, in

programming, students will see the workarounds and freedom math gives them. It will show them that math can be used to solve problems more easily and will motivate them to learn. Math can be as limited

as simple addition and subtraction, or go as high as calculus and linear algebra. AI is one prime example of the endless possibilities of math in programming. This advanced knowledge of math can help them in

school and open up many future careers in the world of technology.


"Everybody should learn to program a computer,

because it teaches you how to think.


- Steve Jobs (1995)"


Technology is at the very center of our world, and has been implemented in almost every aspect of our lives. From transportation and communication to entertainment and education, technology helps us a lot. To be able to learn how those technologies work will allow us to use them more efficiently and

make our lives easier, while gaining many valuable skills in the process.


Sources:

Jamal, Madiha. “Why Is Mathematics Vital to Thrive In Your AI Career?” Medium, Towards Data Science,28 Dec. 2020, towardsdatascience.com/why-is-mathematics-vital-to-thrive-in-your-ai-career-c11bd8446ddc.


Posted by TEECOMlabs on July 16, 2018 in TELECOM labs. “Team Coding Lessons Learned: The Tortoise

Wins the Race.” TEECOM, 17 July 2018, teecom.com/team-coding-software-techniques/.


Reis, Richard. “How to Think like a Programmer - Lessons in Problem Solving.” FreeCodeCamp.org, 2 Feb.

2020, www.freecodecamp.org/news/how-to-think-like-a-programmer-lessons-in-problem-solving-

d1d8bf1de7d2/.



Author: Mani Hari (SiliconValley4u student and teacher)

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