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When should children start programming?

7 November 2016
Article reference: Tynker

The general consensus (almost 75% of people polled), was that students should learn to code starting in primary school. This makes sense as learning a programming language is very similar to learning an actual language: The earlier, the better.

As with all good conversations however, there were some who fervently disagreed. A few educators said computer programming need not be introduced to everyone in grade 1 to 12. They felt that it should be optional.

To some extent, they’re right. Just as not everyone needs to be multi-lingual, not everyone needs to have advanced programming skills, or build a career as a programmer. That would defeat the purpose of the modern division of labour.

What we are seeing here is a basic difference in the interpretation of "computer programming". How should this be defined? Does it mean writing code in a core programming language? Does it mean the ability to make a cool web application?

Seen from this perspective, programming is one of the most valued skills in the 21st century, in which case, no age is too early to learn programming.

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