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Cracking the age code: When should kids learn programming? (Part 2)

The 1st part is here.

Steve Jobs didn’t so much create anything at a young age in the field of technology, but was interested in the subject in the single digits. At the age of 13 he got a job at Hewlett Packard factory (this was 1968 people, relax), and started building  and selling illegal “blue boxes” with Wozniak in 1972. The devices gave people the ability to make phone calls for free.

We can see from the three brainiacs’ history above that is seems like the age that they really got into technology was in their early teens. While that may have helped us in the 60’s, times have changed so drastically in the field of technology, thanks to these awesome guys, that knowledge is more readily available and programs have been developed that enable learning to take place at earlier ages.

For instance, the youngest game programmer currently is an 8 year old girl who made her very own video game app at the age of 7. The late Arfa Karim became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9 in 2004.  There’s also the 14 year old programming prodigy Santiago Gonzales who’s made 13 apps to date and started college at 13. We admit it, we’re envious.

Okay, so we know kids are learning at a younger age now, but that doesn’t really help those of us who have little ones running around at home and no idea how to introduce them to the topic without overwhelming or boring them. All in all, it really boils down to the child’s interests.
To find this out, introduce them to technology yourself. Give them your phone or tablet, we recommend supervision and one of those crazy giant plastic cases, and see what they go for. If you notice little Emily enjoys puzzles and solving problems, rather than the million diaper changing and make up apps they have now, that might be a sign to look for apps and/or programs dedicated to teaching kids computer programming in fun ways. 

photo credit: Edenvale Branch Library San Jose, CA via photopin (license)

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