It’s that time of year when students are (already) starting to think about their subject choices for the upcoming year. We know with technology, especially computer science or coding, that students can often be put off by some commonly held misconceptions.
We have put a few points together below that can help you demystify or debunk these, and drive more participation in your school’s technology programme.
- You need to be good at math to be good at coding
To be a good coder you don’t need to have in depth knowledge of mathematical concepts (like trigonometry, algebra or calculus). Once you have understood the basics of the code, to be a good coder you need to be able to consistently follow a process, think logically and solve problems methodically within the bounds of the code’s capabilities. Being a strong problem solver is something that in the world of work and as adults we have to do every day, so coding and technology is a great way for students to learn something really relevant for their future.
- It’s monotonous and boring
Anything built with code is about thinking and working creatively. This normally means taking an initial concept, seeing if people like it and then making adjustments to get it just right. It is far from being monotonous, but really relies on students using their existing knowledge and taking new approaches to create technology that can assist or enhance the world around them. The beauty of anything made with technology is that the results are often instant and clear for the creator to see.
- You need to memorize and know all the code
There are hundreds of coding languages, so this means that no coder can know everything all the time or even try to remember it all. To get around this, coders regularly look up new syntax and snippets of code and borrow from each other. Coding is a very active community with an ethos of people with different skill levels working together and helping each other out.
- Coders don’t socialize much
Useful technology tools are always created by teams where people with different primary interests and abilities work together performing different tasks. For this reason, coders and technologists need to collaborate and communicate effectively with others, sometimes across time-zones, cultures and national borders which makes coding and technology a very sociable activity.
- Coding is only for boys
Coding is a skill and a toolkit that is relevant for everyone. The very first coders in the world and some of the most influential coders have been women. For instance, Ada Lovelace is considered the world’s first coder, Grace Hopper developed the first compiler for programming languages and Marissa Mayer was one of the first programmers at Google. You can find some ideas for encouraging female students to take on the challenge of technology in this article by our COO, Charlotte, here
In the end, technology and the ability to create with technology is and will continue to be ubiquitous to everything that students love to do. For every student, continuing their technology studies is an opportunity to learn about different ways to enhance the enjoyment of what they like doing best, whether it be analyzing the data of their performance in sport, or understanding how to use technology to promote their school play. With technology and coding, all of this can be achieved while paving themselves a successful road for the future.