Op-Ed: Why Coding is Important?
Like Math and English, coding should be a part of a student’s education.
Whether you are googling an answer on the web, playing Minecraft on your computer, or online shopping on Amazon, you are using the creation of a million lines of code. Coding is all around us and will become more prominent in the future. Like Math and English, coding should be a part of a student’s education.
Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, is teaching first graders how to create their own computer games. In Singapore, coding is an enrichment program in schools, like music and ballet. Currently, the U.S. doesn’t mandate coding as part of a student’s education. However, this shouldn’t prevent students from learning how to code. There are nonprofit organizations like The Coding School that offer one on one lessons for 3rd-12th grade students and full scholarships for low-income students.
As a rising sophomore, majoring in Computer Science, I took my first programming class in my freshman year of college. Since I never coded before, it was intimidating and challenging. But once I stepped into the world of programming, I have never looked back. I even wish that I have the opportunity to start coding earlier in my education. Here are my 3 reasons why coding is important and why you should start learning to code today!
1. You can do incredible things with coding!
Think about inventions like reusable rockets, virtual reality games, and self-driving cars, these inventions are made possible with code. Coding is one of the most versatile skills you could learn. I have friends in college who study cyber securities, computational biology, computer science and music engineering … and the possibilities are endless. Focusing on current computer science research, I’ve been working at a robotics lab starting in my freshman year of college. When I was assisting graduate students with research related to human-robot interaction, I learned to use a game development software called Unity and wrote C# scripts to build a virtual reality environment. Eventually, we hope to use this virtual reality environment to experiment with real participants. I’m always amazed by how coding is applicable in multiple industries and fields.
2. Coding teaches me to become a creative problem solver.
After understanding the basic structure of a coding language, you begin to use coding to solve a problem. For one of my assignments in my Data Structure class, I was asked to build a program that can calculate the distance between two cities and print all possible paths from one city to another city. This assignment encourages me to think outside of the box and experiment with different algorithms like the Depth-First Search and Breadth-First Search. I also learn to break down a large problem into smaller pieces to solve it efficiently (in CS, we called it modular programming). Coding teaches me to solve problems creatively and logically.
3. Coding helped me develop resilience.
Coding is challenging! When you first learn to code, you will feel lost and confused. Especially when debugging, it might take you hours to find one bug in your code. After you fixed all of the bugs, your code might not run smoothly, then you have tried a different approach. However, coding teaches me how to fail well because I learn from my mistakes. Coding forces me to see failure as a part of life and not something that I can avoid (since so much time is spent on debugging). It gives me the resilience to try and try again until I succeed. Once I find a solution to the problem, I will have one of the most rewarding and satisfying feelings.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn coding as part of my education. As I progress in my computer science education, I want to discover more cool technology, solve more problems, and have more resilience. One day, I hope to create technology that can have a social impact on the world. I encourage you to do the same. What are you waiting for? Start coding today!
Written by Victoria Chen, an undergraduate at Tufts University and an instructor for The Coding School.
The Coding School offers one-on-one coding lessons in 18 specialized curriculums, such as AI and Cyber Security. They also offer virtual summer camps for students grades 3–12 and university students, including Quantum Computing, Music+Tech, and Creative Tech.
Learn more at https://www.the-cs.org/our-programs/
Questions? Email The Coding School at firstname.lastname@example.org