Should we be teaching programming classes to young kids?



Yes, It should be offered in all schools.

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It would be nice to see young people acquiring the skills to become self-employed, and very relevant to the job market.

That is why I am saying people should be taught industry specific skills/knowledge at collage to a certificate diplioma level, what is the point of highschool education if it doesn't prepare you to enter the job market, and everyone who isn't doing an apprenticeships or working at mcdonalds needs to go to a polytech or university.

There is plenty of time to teach such industry specific skills/knowledge provided a degree of specialization is achieved, and there is probably room to take some electives aswell. I hated college/high-school because of all the irelevant courses you take, never made sense to me, especially since most of them lead no-where.

And these Certicate level diplomas could say take a year out off university (while still having universities offer the first year as a certificate), because people are educated to a higher level. And I would probably try and prune a year or so out off the education system (i don't think we did anything usefull really during middleschool and first year of college/high-school, as long as people can understand the mathematics they should be able to pass.

No they either work at mcdonalds, get an apprenticeship (we can't all do that), or they go get some real industry specific and recognized skills/knowledge from a polytech or a university. That or they do nothing, because schools don't teach you the stuff you need to know in order to get real jobs.

I'd say let's not only teach programming, but basics about computers and modern technology in general. I really don't see why this should be handled differently than any other subject, as it is of importance for the children and future employees. Sure, not everyone is interested in the same stuff and sure, as a student that's a perfect reason to complain (actually, there are so many perfect reasons to complain). But let's be honest, sometimes it is still helpful, and even if you don't work as a programmer later on, it can still be helpful that you've been taught the basics.
For example, it might prevent you from becoming one of these annoying customers that always think their cousin does something with computers, so they know everything about it although they barely find the power button.

To be honest, I don't see how having programming lessons at school creates shitty developers?

I can tell from my own experience that it helped me a lot to learn the basics of a programming language.

Manual labor is becoming a thing of the past with robotics and autonomous systems. If programming and/or engineering is not a standard, then those basic skills public schools skate by on will mean absolutely nothing, because when a robot takes your job you better know how to make a good one and get a job doing so. Public schools address either 

a. bullshit liberal arts (yes IB Program, I'm looking at you)

b. bullshit mathematics (Algebra 1 in high school? dafuq?)

c. bullshit english (just no) 

d. basic bullshit for basic jobs (soon to be replaced with robots)

e. AK47 fodder (soon to be replaced with robots)

f. higher level courses in math, english, and science (small percentage of students who have a form of job security)

The majority of "average" (stupid) people coming out of public schools will have no job security because education "professionals" dont give a shit as long as they can touch their toes and write a 5 paragraph "essay". 


I agree. Too many kids only know how to use text messaging and the Facebook UI, (god forbid a Powerpoint is assigned). Basic modern technology understanding is absolutely necessary to succeed and become a valuable asset to your industry.

Well of course not! That's why it's called foundational knowledge.

Again, it's about providing a rudimentary understanding...not about making you job-ready.

I definitely took note of your post, Jacobite. Certainly in agreement with you about the lack of necessary skills.

Countries with the best standards of education usually ensure that their young people stay in education, or have some proof or employment. Their young people are kept productive. They often augment their college-type education with some sort of apprenticeship.

Not only are they attaining higher literacy levels, but they are able to demonstrate real-world skills, holding some industry experience. I do have a friend in Norway that is working in an engineering firm as a prerequisite to attending university.

Sending large numbers of people to university is quite an over-saturation of the job market. Arguably, a polytechnic institute would provide a better choice for a good number of people. Not because of their individual capability, but rather, their individual interest. We would do well to offer people a greater degree of choice.

Well we probably shouldn't learn 8 year olds to code in C++ but there are a lot of tools out there to teach kids the whole idea behind programming. Those tools should be used. It's terrible that most high schools don't have programming classes. I think we can all agree that programming languages are more universal than Spanish... 

Highschool education is not called foundational knowledge, the only common foundations I am aware of are literacy (which is probably near sufficently developed by highschool), and mathematics. The other like 85% is just utter tosh(garbage), even if it is somehow related to some industry you want to work in you are bassically not taught to a standard sufficent to get a job, and even so they repeat it in tech/uni, so whats the point...

Yeah, really just stating how pointless highschool is considering the only thing it qualifies you for is getting an apprenticeship or working at mcdonalds, and anywork you did do is meangingless because employers recognize such education as a joke, and everyone goes out and gets higher university level degrees.

Yes, I agree with you. Not only are grades falling, but the level of education itself is insufficient. Absolutely true. Employers have very different demands of young people.

I'm unsure how anyone can expect young people to make their way in life, when their chances of training are frustrated by the lack of programs, following their basic education.

None of those are so easy to do in your free time AND affect a large enough group of people to be a problem. You can make a mobile app very fast, doesn't require that much knowledge and it can affect a lot of people. So yes. It can happen, it has happened, and it will happen.

Even bad Windows applications don't take all that long to make and there are plenty of those. It's just infuriating really. And with mobile being such a thing, it's easy for a random person that had a few programming lessons (or even none, because you can learn it in a matter of days) to think "hey I can make this silly app, put it on an appstore for a 50cent and make some easy money". And guess what? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, IS HAPPENING, AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN.

Shitty developers do indeed also come from laziness, and other factors, and we already got enough shitty developers. I mentioned introductory moments. That should be enough for a person to figure out whether they want to learn it or not, and take action accordingly. Nowhere did I say to intentionally obfuscate the world (of programming) to children. Just not to force something upon them just to have (some of) them later making shitty apps, adding to the already ridiculous amount of shitty apps already existing.

Yes, teaching them fundamentals will increase the number of shitty developers because there will be kids that go "hey this is pretty easy" and will want to do it. Only to figure out later that maybe it's not that easy to make something that is actually worth anything. But it's an easy buck on the appstores, so hey, why the fuck not. We've seen it happen with VB, .NET, and java. That's not to say that there aren't people that can and do make good things in those languages, or that there aren't people that code C or C++ that make horrible things, those exist too. But you cannot possibly deny that easier languages have increased the number of bad developers and bad apps.

Younger people often did not learn functional programming and think OO is godly. It isn't. And it shows in a lot of developers that they don't understand that, or never learned it to begin with. It's just awful reading a bit of code someone wrote and plainly see that he thinks objects are the only thing that matter by making an object out of every little thing. "But computers are so fast you won't even notice it!" Well, no. You do notice it, because those same people have never learned or understood memory management, and whatever else. Little programs taking up (relatively speaking) huge amounts of ram... "But computers have so much ram these days, you won't even notice it!" Well, no. Smartphones are computers too, and unless you're buying a new one every so often, you DO notice it. A lot. And even on a pc it's far from optimal, it's so far from optimal it's just plain bad.

You don't even need to know what is going on in programming to be a programmer. I know a guy that got hired as a Java programmer (he got a degree in it) but was panicing to me the day before his interview because he didn't know the basics of OO anymore. And you want more of these kinds of people? I certainly don't.

I am fully aware that programming courses involve more than simply code. That doesn't make them any better candidates for general career paths.

I am fully aware that IT courses are not programming or programming alone. I followed an IT path in my high school, and in college. I never said to NOT teach kids how to use a pc.


But the question was whether or not programming should be taught to young kids. NO, it should NOT. An introductory course is fine, but it shouldn't be more than that, an introduction to some basic logic and fundamentals. The interested ones will likely follow it up later in their free time, and if still interested probably going to do something with it by the time they go to college. That's more than enough.

This is viewed from a perspective where we get to choose in high school which path we take, so I could choose (and did choose) to follow an IT path at 16, before that I went with a more general path. I don't know how highschools in other countries work, but if you all get the same exact lessons then your education system needs an update, seriously.

>>But you cannot possibly deny that easier languages have increased the number of bad developers and bad apps.

You have a point there. Of course, creating an easier system will always lead to a certain increase of laziness and/or half-heartedness. I just had a discussion about this with a friend who's getting into app programming himself and our opinions on programming differ a little, carefully said.

>> I am fully aware that IT courses are not programming or programming alone. I followed an IT path in my high school, and in college. I never said to NOT teach kids how to use a pc.

Point taken as well, you didn't say that. Thinking about it, I even prefer your idea.

>> I don't know how highschools in other countries work, but if you all get the same exact lessons then your education system needs an update, seriously.

I know it does, but easier said than done, right?

I critical for all schools to teach some form of coding. (IB has X arts classes yet 0 cs classes at my school dafuq?). It is not a question of why but a question of how and to what extent.  get the elementary students on scratch (hell even i still find it fun to goof off and not worry about syntax). but "real" programing should not start until they take a geometry and a algebra class. unfortunately for the normal stupid students that's not until 10th 11th grade. 

It is both necessary and proper for all schools to teach code, but in order to do that they need to stop being god awful in other core stem classes


Something I just thought of as I saw this popping up over and over lately: programming is like learning a language. There are numerous programming languages, like there are human languages. In my mind, learning a spoken language isn't all about learning the language. We can all learn the vocab. It's about making connections. It's about not only understanding the language, it's about "feeling" the language as well. 


Learning a spoken language is similar to learning a programming language. I'll try to make the parallels as obvious as possible(I know this isn't how things are set up but keep in mind this is supposed to be vague. In fact I'm pretty sure its nothing compared to how things are really set up. For the sake of explanation however...). Programming language(foreign language) > kernel(English, or the native language. Which ever) > hardware("feelings"). What I mean by feelings are the emotions and pictures that come to mind with a word. Like "nervousness", or "computer". We all have that understanding with our native language. We all have that deeply ingrained in our minds. It's why we are so fast with our native language but slow with a foreign language. Because often, the foreign language is built on top of, and linked to, our native language. It's not connected to our "feelings". 


This, to me, resembles programming languages. Just like with spoken languages, not only should programming bring a way to communicate with computers, it brings a way to think. It brings the "how can I make this better" mentality. Just like with spoken language. Languages are meant to bring a thought process that helps make connections with words and feelings, just like how programming languages bring the thought process that makes connections between an idea, and the commands that get there. 


If you made it through that, and understood it, I give you a figurative pat on the back.

while i think we should teach kids how to program, mostly for the sake of teaching them how to think, i dont think it should be a super hard pressed thing. one class to graduate high school kind of level. we shouldnt expect every person to become a programmer. it just isn't feasible. but those who do express interest should be given every opportunity possible to explore.

I must say, yes, its a good idea if children could learn to code early on.  However this forum is completely biased.  Ask a "Jock" to try and learn code and you'll get punched.  It wont work.  Or ask a 10 year old to learn code, he will be busy playing happy wheels on the computer when the teacher is away......  That will be a class that is brought in for 2 years.  Over half will fail, then they take it out and end up firing a teacher.  Its not a good class.  Although, I may also live in a bit different place than most.  Computers here are as taboo as sex.  (Montana)  Just my two cents.

i like the fact that a majority of people dont know about computers, its going to be good when i carry on for a job at the end of the year...