How to Start Learning Programming | Coding for Dummies
Due to technological advancement and the massive demand for coding languages on the market, parents, teachers, and guardians prefer teaching programming languages to their kids. It is undoubtedly a trending skill that kids should have to have a bright future.
But the real problem is how to start learning programming and master coding basics. What is the first step, and how long does it take to learn coding?
You might have dozens of questions in mind, and we are going to answer them in this article. We will tell you how your kids can get started with coding while having fun and enjoying it to the fullest. Let’s begin!
1. What Is Coding, and Why Do We Need to Learn Coding?
Coding means giving instructions to a computer or machine with the help of programming languages. It is a way to communicate with the computer and give a set of instructions to be performed.For instance, if you want a robot to follow a line, you will have to provide instructions to the robot for the task. You will write code in a programming language that the robot can understand and interpret. These computers and machines are dependent on our instructions called code.
Coding is also referred to as creating certain programs, such as applications, websites, and games, using programming languages. These programs perform certain tasks and operations. You might have seen the calculator application on your computer or mobile phone. It runs on specific instructions and performs the task we provide.
The first reason for learning coding is that it is a way to communicate and instruct a machine, microcontroller, chip, computer, etc. You can make whatever you like, from a simple robot to a powerful AI tool. It can lead to software development jobs that offer an excellent pay scale and growth.
Coding also develops many skills, such as problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, persistence, consistency, etc. For instance, when you write code, there can be problems in it, and it might not lead to the desired results. Therefore, you think critically to solve the problem and try again and again. At last, with your analysis and critical thinking, you end up creating an error-free code.
2. How to Start Coding?
There are multiple ways to start coding and learn coding basics, but not all of them are suitable for kids and people who easily get bored. For instance, some people might recommend reading beginner coding books. It is undoubtedly an excellent option to go with, but you might get bored after reading the book because it is not interactive and interesting. You cannot apply your codes and see the results while reading.
Coding for Dummies is an incredible book that can teach coding basics and help you get started. It is suitable for 8-13 years old because of its simplicity. However, a better option would be STEM toys or robots that are developed to teach coding skills to kids. These toys are interactive, interesting, and kids can learn to code while playing with the toy.
STEM toys usually use simple block-based or Scratch programming language. It is a simple language that kids can easily understand and implement. Once they understand the coding basics, they can move to advanced languages like Python and Arduino and practice with the robot.
A robot toy is a recommended option because the user can write the code and enjoy quick results. For instance, kids can program a self-balancing car through coding. This implementation will definitely teach more than a book, and kids would love to play with it and enjoy their creativity and hard work. They will never get bored playing with STEM toys and robots.
3. How Long Does It Take to Learn Coding?
Coding requires a few months to years to master the concepts and implement them on professional projects. But it depends on the person who is learning it. For instance, kids learn programming slowly, and they require several years to grasp a few programming languages. They might start with Scratch and then move to advanced languages later. But an adult can learn a few programming languages in only 3-6 months.
Kids can start learning when they are six years old. Some even start at a younger age. With time, they will have more interest in programming languages, and they will be able to implement what they have learned. It is a good time to start coding because they will become an experienced and professional developer after graduating from high school.
4. Some STEM Robots to Start Coding
Codey Rocky is a smart robot toy for kids that are 6-8 years old. It teaches coding basics in an interactive and interesting way that kids never get bored of it. They can design games through block-based coding and enjoy their creativity. It makes coding a lot easier.
The robot develops various skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, etc. It also teaches modern subjects, including IoT, Data Science, and AI. It is an excellent learning tool to spark interest in coding.
b) mBot Ranger
mBot Ranger is a 3-in-1 robotics kit for making three different robots: a robot tank, a racing car, and a self-balance car. It is an ideal option for 10+ years old kids. They can program the robot through block-based coding, and it also allows Arduino C, which is excellent for intermediate coders.
For beginners, there are eight presets available to get started in no time. It boosts creativity in kids and lets them enjoy the coding results to the fullest. Most importantly, various add-on kits are available to upgrade the robot and have more options.
c) mBot Ultimate
mBot Ultimate is a 10-in-1 robot kit to help kids (12+ years old) in getting a firm grasp on robotics. These different robots spark interest in engineering and programming.
Kids can easily assemble different robots and program them through block-based coding. They also have the option to switch to Arduino and Python coding to take their skills to the next level. The best part is that it is compatible with Raspberry Pi to work on advanced projects.