January 19, 2007
Why Johnny can't code
In the past I've written about trying to get my son to start programming - no luck so far. I've received a fair bit of feedback and know that I'm not the only one remembering the satisfaction of writing your own little game in BASIC.
Since last year I've become more involved with what is being taught in the local high-schools and find it interesting that for example one school teaches Delphi and another teaches Java as the main programming language for 15-16 year olds.
O'Reilly's Nat Torkington has an interesting article on this topic with several pointers including an excellent article by David Brin. David also has an interesting solution in that he bought a Commodore 64 off ebay so his son could learn BASIC at home while learning C++ at school.
It was for a similar reason that I started teaching a neighbor's son Ruby (on Rails) when he wanted to do a bit more programming than his school offered. We could have continued doing Java - but I thought it would be more interesting for him to learn a different language instead.
It is a shame that today's computer systems don't attract (or provide for) young programmers and it makes me wonder what will happen once the kids of today reach employment age.
Posted by Matthew at January 19, 2007 02:24 PM