If your child has a love for technology that goes beyond the normal Netflix binging and video game marathoning, you might want to consider putting that passion into a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational path. One possible pursuit in the technology realm that could ensure your child or teenage has a great career future ahead of them is computer programming. With that in mind, here are some reasons why coding and programming for teenagers is a great idea and which language is the best to code in. Hint – it’s Python.
Programming for Teenagers
These days, it is hard to imagine a world where your teenager’s face is not firmly planted in a digital screen – whether that’s a mobile device, tablet, or computer – the days of running wild in the woods and tripping over scraggly branches are long past. Like it or not, there are many advantages to this newfound interest in tech, particularly if you can learn to harness it for your child’s – and potentially the world’s – greater good.
Today, I want to discuss some reasons why computer programming is great for kids. We will discuss the benefits of coding for teenagers and some great resources for child programmers. I’ll even touch on my favorite programming language for children – Python. Enough focus on squeezing our keywords in (we must appease the Google Gods!), let’s dive in!
Python for Teenagers
Maybe I am biased – after all, I did write the book, Python for Teenagers (available wherever you purchase books from!) – but for my money, Python is the absolute best programming language for children, teens, adults, dogs, Martians, and all silicone-based life forms. Having written programming tutorials for every known language on the planet (Perl, PHP, Python, C – the list goes on and on), I am not joking when I say that Python is the easiest and most enjoyable to learn to code in, by far.
First of all, Python has a very simple learning curve. Outside of a language such as Basic or QBasic (shout out to all my 80s friends!) – which have no real applications in the world outside of learning – Python is probably the easiest for kids to learn how to program in. Perl is similarly simple, to be fair, but when you add in the sheer power of Python, there is no competition.
So, reason # 1: Learning to program in Python is simple for teenagers.
Second, Python is extremely powerful. It not only has a great built-in library and code repository – pre-made snippets of code that save you time and increase efficiency (why rebuild the wheel) – but there is also a huge community of Python developers that contribute their own pieces of code and programs for other Python developers to use. This is all part of what is known as Open Source (Python is, after all, an Open Source language).
Another great thing about the language is that Python encourages creativity in kid programmers. The language is so versatile and works across so many platforms and systems, that you can use it for virtually anything. From coding videogames using PyGame to making mobile apps or desktop applications, there is nothing that a teenage Python programmer cannot accomplish.
This same versatility leads to many future career paths. Outside of video game and app developers, your child could grow up to manage network systems, pursue a career in forensic programming, IT security, data scientist, and many more.
In addition, learning Python as a first language will open up many other days for your kids. Since Python is so simple and shares core programming principles with many other coding languages, it will be easy for your teenager to expand their programmatic skills as they get older and mature as a developer. In fact, Python is extensible, meaning you can extend its abilities by using it to work with other languages, so even if your child decides to move on from Python at some point in their life, they will still be able to use what they learned throughout their life and career.
Which Programming Language is Best for Children
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to which programming language is best for teenagers – but even if these were the only reasons, it would still make Python the obvious choice. If you would like more details or have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or shoot me a tweet using @EditorinBeef – I’ll be glad to respond!