September 29, 2020

Programming – what’s the point?


Programming is a skill seldom taught during school. Many schools lack the expertise required to teach the subject or choose to just ignore the subject altogether. In the 21st century, computer science and technology dominates our world, and so learning about how our devices work and how they interact with each other should be a crucial part of education, implemented from a young age.

There is more to programming than merely staring at endless lines of code, or how film portrays numbers flying across the screen as a hacker attempts to break some high security system. On a fundamental basis, programming allows you to tell a computer how to solve a problem. The beauty of this is there are many ways to solve the same problem, meaning there is no one correct answer. This promotes problem solving, discussion, and teamwork that is unseen to the same degree in any other industry. An ability to produce a great solution to a problem is an artform, something akin to the differentiation between a good painter and a bad one. Programmers all over the world spend years trying to perfect their craft and help to improve others. It is a collaborative effort across the globe and is what drives innovation within the sector.

The reason why programming (or Computer Science in general) is so important and should be included within a child’s curriculum is that its applicability is everywhere. From looking at concepts in Computer Science that are also found in many other disciplines, it provides a broad overview of many different areas that diversify and expand your understanding. This is one of the only subjects where this can occur and is what makes it such a unique and desirable skill to learn. Employers in every field are looking for skilled programmers who can apply their problem-solving skills to different scenarios, meaning your skills are relevant everywhere. Programming is a universal language, everyone will understand.

Learning programming is similar to learning a new language. Once you begin, you will always continue to learn and improve, becoming more confident as you go. When you’re fluent in your language, simply move on to a new one! Programming is exactly the same, providing different languages which are better designed for certain tasks. Some are used to make video games, some websites, some for mobile apps. What stays the same though is the underlying principals and problem-solving skills which are incredibly relevant in today’s world.