One of the best parts about being a parent is watching children learn something new. For me one of those exciting moments was when I started teaching my kids how to code. I’ve been asked by non-coding friends if they should teach their kids Python. If the child in question has show an interest in computers and coding I would say yes.
Python is a great language for beginners to learn. As we will see it’s user friendly and not tough to start creating fun little programs. The early years of childhood and adolescence are crucial in a child’s life. What happens in these early years will impact future life and career choices. While I don’t think every child should grow up to be a programmer, learning the basics has many benefits. From analytical thinking to problem solving, just scratching the surface of how to code can impart valuable lessons.
If you want to bring the magic of programming to your children starting with Python is an excellent choice.
As a beginner nothing is more frustrating that concepts that are too complex to grasp. Thankfully, Python doesn’t have this issue. C++, Java, and other languages have complex syntax and structures. This may prove difficult for a beginner to understand and discourage their learning. More than one person has tried to learn how to code and stopped because of these early setbacks.
Python thankfully doesn’t have this issue. The language is intuitive and text-based with a concise syntax. Unlike other languages, the Python syntax is fairly easy for humans to read.
When it comes to kids Python is a great introductory language. It frequently proves to be a stepping stone to other, more complex languages. Like many crafts a strong foundation is core to future success. Python can provide this foundation in a fun and beginner-friendly environment.
Easy To Set Up
Setting up a new Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can be a major pain even for an experienced programmer. Python doesn’t require a special development environment. If you have a computer at home and can access the internet you can start learning Python.
You can get started by downloading the software from the official Python website. Once you’ve downloaded the software you will run the installer and then jump into the interpreter to start coding.
For an easier introduction consider one of the many online learning courses. You can go to sources like YouTube and Coursera to start learning. You can also look at sites such as CodeMonkey for fun games that teach kids how to code in Python.
We all want our kids to develop skills that will someday allow them to land a great job. Python is one such skill a child can develop early that will help later in life. Aside from the analytical and critical thinking skills, Python is also in high demand.
Python tops the hackr.io list of best programming languages to learn in 2020. Ease of learning was a consideration, but also projected future job demand. Python has unseated PHP (2017), C# (2018), and Java (2019) as the fastest-growing language. Consider Python was first released in the ’80s this is pretty good for an “old” language.
As the final bit of icing on the cake, Python developers can earn anywhere from $60K up to $110K+ per year. Not a shabby living at all!
In addition to commanding respectable salaries, Python developers have the luxury of working at a variety of companies. Facebook and Google, for example, use the language to develop new products. NASA, Amazon, Netflix, and many other big companies are also looking for Python talent.
These companies will continue to grow and so will their demand. Knowing how fast tech entrepreneurs innovate it is reasonable to expect when your kids are ready to land a job a new hotshot tech company might hire them.
Python likely won’t be the only language your child picks up over their career. Starting with this language is a good first step towards future learning and development.
Python Is Popular
Being such a popular programming language has a few benefits. The biggest benefit for new programmers is that you can find answers to almost every question online. The Python community is known for being friendly. Ask a question on a forum and you will get a bunch of helpful responses.
Naturally you want to ensure your kids are asking questions in a safe area and that the responses are helpful. I live by Stack Overflow. They have over 1.5 million questions tagged as Python. The responses tend to come fast and are typically helpful. Stack is also a safer area to ask questions as opposed to Reddit or other forums. Folks going to Stack Overflow are going for one reason: to ask, answer, or find solutions to coding questions.
Python Is Versatile
Python can be used across a variety of industries and for numerous applications. Interested in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or big data? Learning Python and the accompanying libraries will be a huge step in the right direction!
When parents teach their kids python the children are learning more than syntax and structure. They are also learning how to develop automation tasks (very helpful!), game development, and much more. With even a bit of basic knowledge your child can begin building websites and basic games.
By virtue of its versatility Python encourages children to be creative and think outside the box. Kids can build a website or game and then get creative with expanding their creation. More advanced learners might consider integrating their love of coding with robotics. With a bit of effort and ingenuity your children could be creating some awesome robotic devices while still in high school!
When parents ask if they should teach their kids Python I’m always happy to discuss the pros of the language. Learning how to code can be tricky. Python provides a friendly introduction to coding which I find wonderful. It’s a skill that can be used throughout life even if you aren’t doing it professionally. The skills developed from learning how to code can help in almost any career. If your kids have expressed an interest in learning I’d say go for it! You can find plenty of free resources online to get them started. Honestly, the best way to learn is by doing.
Happy coding and don’t forget to check our site frequently. We’re building out a kid-friendly intro to Python course. We’ll be posting bite-sized lessons that will take your kids through many of the basics. From understanding variables and syntax to creating their first program.