Coding at the age of 6?
In the recent past, India has witnessed specific trends that attract many people — for instance, pursuing a career in cricket, learning guitar, pursuing engineering, online learning, establishing start-ups, and many more. We are recently witnessing a learning coding trend, which promises your kid to be a multimillionaire entrepreneur. But how much of this is true? Being a professional software engineer, I decided to share my opinion on the topic, which might help non-IT parents in India, who has FOMO for their kids.
Disclaimer: All statements and advice in this blog are personal and based on my experiences; if you disagree, feel free to report or ignore :)
Kids these days gets fascinated by smartphones and their app. While on the other hand, parents get fascinated by the advertisement, which promises a multimillionaire entrepreneur dream. This excitement from kids and parents worries me a little; let me tell you why. According to an article published in EconomicTimes, “15 lakh engineers graduate in India every year out of which only 2.5 lakh students land relevant jobs in technical domains. Out of those, roughly 2.2 lakh openings are in software, within which a vast majority (1.8 lakh jobs) are in IT services, garnering around only Rs 3–5 lakh per annum (LPA) in remuneration.”
Moreover, only a few individuals can make their name as an entrepreneur out of thousands if not lakhs of students. What does this mean? Can your kid not be one of them? Well, indeed, he/she can, and maybe they will someday, but that doesn’t mean they need to start coding at the age of six. All they need is INTEREST and a right mix of talent, passion, hard work, and a little guidance but coding at six or early age is not the first right step (and I can assure you as a professional software engineer). Also, coding alone won’t make a difference. Trust me, coding is not a big deal, and any average (in study) individual can learn and code. A lot more is needed to be a successful entrepreneur — for example, idea, funds, marketing skills & strategy, and many more.
To directly talk about coding, let me tell you that it demands a good understanding of fundamental mathematics concepts such as linear algebra, binary number system, factorials, prime numbers, even/odd numbers, etc. These are not something that a six-year-old will understand. Even if they do, coding requires a strong foundation like any other thing on this planet, a pre-requisite to which are understanding RAM, CPU, HardDisks, etc. They teach your kids drag-and-drop features that do all the magic behind the scene, just like online website builders such as Wix, WordPress, etc.
Then what is the right age for learning to code? Well, there is no correct answer at the moment, but not until your kid has understood fundamental math concepts (linear algebra, binary number system, etc.). We’re already living in a world where kids spend more time on TV, smartphones, computers/laptops when they should be indulging in physical activities. While we wait for our government to incorporate coding in the school curriculum, we should not get distracted by those advertisements and consult professionals before investing our kid’s valuable childhood in such activities.