Gavi joined our team as a programming mentor in January and is quickly making an impact with students. He was a largely self-taught programmer as a youngster and made a series of Java games with little outside help. His experience of piecing together how to make his games a reality is why he’s an excellent mentor for kids looking to do the same. With Gavi’s experience he knows exactly how a mentor could have helped him learn and keep it fun. Let’s hear more from him!
When did you start programming?
My sophomore year of high school I decided I wanted to learn what made computers ticked. I picked up a couple of For Dummies books and played around with a few free game engines to get some experience with programming. Luckily, my school offered an AP computer science course, but there was little else after that until I reached college. Now that I’ve experienced the rigor of college courses, I’m endlessly grateful to have had a head start.
Why is it important for kids to start programming young?
Computers are only going to become more important in our society. All the statistics point toward computer programming continuing to be in high demand in the future. What’s more, computer science is creeping its way into many other fields. Mathematicians, scientists, and engineers are increasingly learning to model complex systems or crunch difficult problems using computer programming. Each child that can start learning the fundamentals of programming early will be that much more likely to succeed later on in life.
What advice do you have for kids learning how to program?
Don’t be daunted! Learning to program is not an easy task, especially since many programming concepts were not designed with new learners in mind. It can seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll make steady progress and before you know it everything just makes sense. Also, keep it fun! If you find yourself doing something and realize it’s not fun, move on to something else. If you’re interested in learning how to program, don’t let the grueling parts ruin your enthusiasm!