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Sherry Day
Sherry Day

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When should children start learning to code?

Do you have an opinion on the right age to learn coding?

Top comments (16)

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brantsoler profile image
Brant Soler

I'm a fan of introducing concepts as early as absolutely possible. You can break basic logic down into a simple set of instructions and use magnets, compile them to open the fridge. Humans already do it with language structure, it's just a different language. Imagine how your life would be if you could program as fluently as you could speak.

Some of my earliest memories seem to be connected with Reader Rabbit, the first color monitor on an Apple II c as well as "and/or" gates.

As children mature, watch their interests and harness that interest to give them the tools they will need for success: If they like carrots, help them program the biggest darn carrots around! Carrot themed logic problems! Just don't dangle a carrot on a string at the end of a stick, that's not fun.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️ • Edited

I started writing code aged 7 (in BASIC on the ZX Spectrum)... possibly even earlier if you include programming "Big Trak", which was somewhat like drawing stuff using the "Turtle" language.

ZX Spectrum (1982)Big Trak (1979)

By the time we were vaguely taught anything about programming in school (about age 13 or 14?) I was already a considerably better programmer than the teacher - and was correcting his mistakes.

The earlier the better!

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

I started coding when I was 8. I sometimes jokes about it and say; "I've got permanently applied brain damage due to too much coding". Although there might be some truth to such a statement, I still think it's smart to start early if possible.

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kayis profile image
K (he/him)

I got a C64 with 8 or so.

While it started with playing many games, I quickly found GEOS and started to copy disks and playing around with Basic.

I come from a poor family and all people I knew at that time were working class, so nobody could teach me to program at that age.

But I think, I was ready to learn it with 8 or 9.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

I was lucky and got a second hand Oric1. It came with a bunch of magazines that had code inside. When I had played all the games that came with it, I realised I could type the code off from the mags. I kind of never stopped ... ;)

40 years ago this year actually ...

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warwait profile image
Parker Waiters

I think kids should be taught some basic coding logic ideas as soon as they are part of school. Basic coding principles are incredibly useful, and software runs our lives.

If the school system is not thinking about coding effectively (and they aren't), I'd say it's about paying attention to what your kids are interested in and nudging them towards discovering the software side.

If they are interested in your nudges, you can probably start them pretty early.

If they don't just take to it on their own, I think by the time a kid is in their teens, you can encourage them more deliberately.

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naruaika profile image
Naufan Rusyda Faikar

Someone in my class started to know about coding at 17, few days before entering undergraduate university. I realised that he could beat his friend in the class—who had worked as a programmer—in almost any subject, not because he was smart, but because he had great teachers until high school. In my opinion, we can teach our children how to think computationally (without telling them about the word "computational thinking") right after they can remember their dad's name and respond to mom's calls. I know, this is a bit of an exaggeration. But I believe, teaching coding can be postponed until children are interested in themselves to learn. However, computational thinking needs to be introduced from the beginning. Because computational thinking can help solving life problems in general.

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jeoxs profile image
José Aponte

I think children should start learning to code when they awake the interest (or even desire) to make any kind of software. For example, children love videogames but not all of them will say "I want to make a videogame like that". So, when a child says "I want to make a game" (or some particular software), the first sign appears.

Also, consider the fact that the kid needs to have some age in order to speak, get some kind of common sense and the developed idea of wanting to make a game/software. I wanted to make games when I was 5 and played with the computer we had at home back then.

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tmchuynh profile image
Tina Huynh

It depends when you want to teach them. Fundamental coding concepts such as variables and conditionals can be taught at a very early age. I've been a coding instructor for quite some time. We have second and third graders learning loops and functions, fourth and fifth graders learning basic c#, even. It reallt depends on how you teach the concepts and being patient along the way.

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cerchie profile image
Lucia Cerchie • Edited

I think it depend on when the child wants to start to learn coding. There are other ways of learning foundational logic.

That being said, my 2 year old loves this book: amazon.com/Baby-Code-Girls-Who/dp/...

and this one looks super cool kickstarter.com/projects/babyengin...

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rezatalebi05 profile image
Rezatalebi05

my first time i started to programming or another tech things
is 10 in first i started with scratch its a programming with block for childerns second i started to arduino programing and i create robots

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molydoly profile image
Molydoly

In my opinion. the best age for kids to start learning coding languages such as Scratch Jr is from the age of 5 to 7. People often achieve this through different logical games that help in simulating the skill of coding. After some time, you can move onto the more demanding exercises

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️ • Edited

What's wrong with jumping straight into real code? Worked for me as a 7 year old, and for a generation of others like me who grew up in the age of 8-bit home computers. You switched them on, and you were dumped straight into a REPL.

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dudusray profile image
Kelvin Murithi

soon as they can do blocks

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dhravya profile image
Dhravya

age of 15 is pretty good in my opinion

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sharpcdf profile image
sharpcdf • Edited

I started programming when I was 9 in Roblox, and a lot like other people have said, I think programming should be learned as young as possible.

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