This week I read an interesting article entitled Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills. It points out that many schools often treat programming classes as an elective with less long-term applicability than core subjects like Algebra or Biology. However, programming is a multifaceted skill that interweaves a wide variety of disciplines, and in many ways it effectively prepares students for a future full of opportunities. It then describes a range of academic and extra-curricular benefits that come as a result of programming:
- Subject mastery
- Systems thinking
I can echo this article with personal experience. I created my first computer program with the help of my father at age 7. It was called Gary’s Adventure and was a simple point-and-click exploration game consisting of a series of scenes I drew or assembled from clip art. The program itself wasn’t all that amazing, but it opened my eyes to the reality that technology is a tool of creation. If we can dream it, we can build it, and this pattern of creative pursuit has brought me great joy throughout my life.
And what’s even more interesting is that today people don’t have to be programmers to program. I’m not a programmer by trade, but with a bit of patience and passion I was able to create the incredible software that powers Dream Flight Adventures. Today kids as young as 5 or 6 can begin programming their own digital adventures, even without writing a single line of code.
Programming isn’t the only digital tool for creation, either. Dreamers of all walks of life—artists, writers, designers, musicians—can all make their dreams come true and share them with the world.
And that, friends, is why I love technology.
Always and forever.