Thinking Training for Today’s Kids
By Martin Stiby and Sammy Kolt
There are a lot of serious reasons why kids should learn computer coding. For one, so much in our daily lives relies on computer hardware and software, and understanding something about how they work can help us use them more effectively.
And consider the issue of jobs. According to a 2017 article, the seven fastest-growing positions in tech, ranging from database administrator to information security analyst, will increase in number by as much as 37 percent in the next five years alone . Developers and others in computer science earn a good living and do interesting, challenging and vital work that’s in much demand.
But what about learning to code because it’s fun? Judging by the reaction of the kids who came to Aptean’s recent coding event, that might be the best reason of all.
Last week, Aptean joined schools and companies around the world in hosting an Hour of Code for local children at our global headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries, and was held during Computer Science Education Week , which encourages youth interest in computer science and coding.
Anyone can organize an Hour of Code event, and one-hour tutorials are available in more than 45 languages. The goal isn’t to teach anybody to become an expert computer scientist in one hour. But that’s enough time to learn that computer science is fun, creative and accessible to all ages, for all students, regardless of background.
As our participants discovered, coding is a happy mixture of science and creativity. It helps people learn how to structure their thoughts and think clearly and logically. Even if none of the children who came to our event become developers, getting from point A to point B is something we all have to do in life, and coding helps kids learn how to persist and solve problems.
In the end, learning to code isn’t really developer training; it’s thinking training – something we all could benefit from.
If you’re interested in helping your kids learn to code (or, for that matter, learning yourself), plenty of tools and resources are available. Check out this blog from edutopia.org for some ideas.
By all accounts, the Hour of Code was a huge hit, and we’re planning to expand it to other Aptean offices and partner with schools in the Alpharetta area for additional events in 2018. “My kids loved it,” said Ginger Laney Clopper, an M&A operations director for Aptean who helped organize the event and whose two children participated in it. “The activities felt like fun games, and they felt a big sense of accomplishment when they were able to code their own creations. I’m glad that Aptean is committed to sponsoring more Hour of Code events to reach more kids in the larger community.”
Aptean CEO Kim Eaton and CTO Jenny Peng introduced and participated in the Hour of Code, and Martin Stiby and Sammy Kolt organized the event. Many thanks to them and to our other volunteers: Ginger Laney Clopper, Madison D’Angelo, Nikki Gold, Jim Krakau, Mike Ressel, Brandon Sanders and Tiana Storey.