Why Programming is Important – An Outsider’s Perspective

Why Programming is Important – An Outsider’s Perspective

On the Breakout Mentors blog I write about all things related to kids programming. Many times the focus is on why it is important for kids to learn to program and why it is the responsibility of the parent to introduce them to it. But of course I feel this way! I started a company to solve that specific problem – why would I invest my time in it if I didn’t think it was important? It’s my pleasure today to introduce an article with similar beliefs.

Why I Taught My Daughter To Code (A Little) defends the notion that it is beneficial to have an understanding of how computers work and a worthwhile investment of time to gain that understanding. It’s a very good read and I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but I want to call out a couple specific points.

Why Programming Is Important

The section Computer Literacy as a Leadership Requirement is a must read for parents. All parents want their child to have the opportunity to be a leader one day, but if they don’t understand computers, will they be able to in such a technological world?

In the same way, leaders who see computers as magic boxes, coders as wizards, and computer code as incantations can’t effectively govern. They can’t set policy, they can’t have informed legal opinions, they have no framework for evaluating whether information being fed to them makes any sense (or even knowing if they should ask).

Why It Is the Responsibility of the Parent

The section Computer Literacy as an Educational Oversight makes the claim that today’s education system focuses on a historical ideal and is out of touch with the world today.

This is a much bigger discussion, but here’s the main takeaway: after thousands of hours in the classroom, our students emerge unempowered into an increasingly digital world. We’re on our own here.

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Photo: Adam Gimpert

Posted by Brian Skinner / Posted on 18 May