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The importance of learning Coding in the 21st Century

At the age of 19, and in the year 2018, it is fair to say that I joined the Coding game late. A booming video game industry.  Million of applications being developed between the likes of Apple and Android. The development of new, complex software and code, is an increasingly important endeavour for this generation.

As we seek to push technology to new levels, we ought not let ourselves be swept up by this tide of technology that is consuming our society.

It is commonplace now for social engagements to be held not outside, in close proximity to their peers, but amongst their computers, conversing digitally rather than physically. Now, this can be good in moderation, however, the old adage: to go get exercise, is not a constructive tool to engage the more introverted children. Instead, capturing their enthusiasm for technology by getting them to understand how it works, how their favourite game has been coded, is integral in capitalising on a generation christened in technology.

Coding is a skill in demand; the aforementioned expansion of apps and gaming, illustrates the pressing need for more and more developers. Moreover, fiscal competition between companies demands consistent innovation, so as to try and gain the edge over competitors. Thus, by becoming a coder, you enter a field that requires one very simple skill: the ability to code.

Therefore, it is important to integrate coding and technology within the Education system, as we aim to do at Commun-IT. From Primary School, through to High School; providing after school Coding Clubs to allow this new generation to understand the inner workings of the technology that they live with, and even depend on.

Hello world!- Why I wish I learnt Coding as a child

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.

3. Prospects:

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.

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