With the advancement of technology over the years, the ability to code is becoming increasingly important. While many see coding as a technical skill required to become a software engineer, programmer, or game developer, the benefits of teaching students to code go beyond technical skills and preparing for a career in tech. Coding helps student develop important soft skills that they can apply to many other facets of their lives. So what kind of skills do they learn?:
Communication skills gained from learning to code go beyond just learning a new language. Coding also helps students become better writers because it encourages them to organize and synthesis information, an essential skill for good storytelling. They also develop empathy and the ability explain things in ways non-programmers could understand. Students who code their own website or video game are often excited to share their creation with friends and family, this offers an additional benefit of being able to develop their interpersonal and public speaking skills.
Coding is a complex process that often requires multiple people to brainstorm ideas, check for errors, and find patterns. A quick look at any online forum for coding will show you that coders are very supportive and often look to each other to help. Although most coding courses are designed so students can learn on their own, students quickly learn the importance of this type collaboration. Students who work on build their own projects naturally learn to go to their peers for feedback and support. Through time, they learn how to effectively give and receive feedback from each other.
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Problem solving involves the ability to identify and analyze problems and then come up with logical solutions. Programmers are great problem solvers because they are able to apply critical thinking skills when dealing with issues like programming errors. They tackle large, and complex programming errors by breaking them down into smaller parts, then coming up with various solutions and testing each one. Teaching students how to code gives them the opportunity to practice these skills, helping them become successful in school, work, and life.
It is a common misconception that programming is primarily a technical skill, in fact, many students are often surprised by the amount of creativity that goes into building a website or video game. By learning how to put together small pieces of general code and customizing them, the opportunities for students to create something brand new are endless. They also get the chance to develop artistic skills by coordinating various images, shapes, colors, and fonts to build something all on their own.
Patience and Persistence
Learning to code is a challenge and things rarely work the first time. Although programming can be frustrating, the satisfaction of finally getting the code to work encourages students to not give up. They learn that if continue try different approaches they will be able to solve even the most complex problems.
If you haven’t started yet, now is the best time to give them an opportunity to explore coding. NerdLevels offers online courses for students to learn web or game development in a fun and supportive learning environment.