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The Importance of Code

January 20, 2015

Today, there’s hardly a facet of life where we aren’t interacting with a computer of some sort.  We program our alarm clocks to ensure we wake up on time.  We set a program on our microwave to heat our food.  There are even special ways to construct search requests on Google to narrow down your results.  These seem like ordinary, even mundane, tasks, but we are programming.  In the workforce, many professions make use of software such as Microsoft Excel, which allows the user the opportunity to custom program in equations and logic, and allows people who don’t think of themselves as programmers to create full blown applications, and even games.

The use of programming in everyday life will only increase.  People will find innovative ways to leverage technology to support needs in their lives, and a foundation to this learning should start as early as possible.

As parents of the future generation, I ask that you introduce your children at an early age to computers.  As my father explained to me when I was very young, there is far more that you can accomplish on a computer than play games.  I was extremely fortunate, and had a computer in the house when I was young.  I remember writing simple programs in BASIC on an Apple ][ computer.  At the time, most of my programming involved drawing pictures on the screen, but I was programming.  The foundation of my understanding of software happened when I was very young, and I continued to hone these skills in college.

Last month, my son, who is in first grade, came home with a certificate announcing he had participated in The Hour of Code.  In association with, the hour of code is an initiative that aims to introduce young people to coding.  In my son’s recollection, all he did was play games, however these games involved setting small instructions on familiar character (Angry Birds, Frozen, etc.) to have them perform a series of actions.  The Hour of Code is an event that is scheduled to happen in December, but the website is available year round and free.  I recommend that you log in and encourage your children to learn the fundamentals of code.  You should also reach out to your local school and ask them to set aside time to participate.

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