If kids don’t meet that one fun person who shows them the boring part that leads to a fun outcome while entertaining them, then they may lose interest.
Teaching coding, a subject I wish I had the chance to learn about as a young child, to the next generation feels like both a selfish and natural way to spend my spare time. I don’t want to condemn my parents or my surroundings. Back in the early 90s, I grew up in a society that had the full potential to teach me exactly what I would need to know to achieve great things but, instead of C++, I had to choose between learning German or French. In math, I had to learn algebra, but my knowledge of the subject wasn’t put to the test using code. Had my teachers used programming basics to explain concepts, I would have been able to understand better and visualize what I was calculating, and the reason for that calculation.
I know that I sound rather judgmental, but it is not meant that way.
I am glad that my expectations weren’t met because I still remember all the hours I spent to find the solutions for simple errors and all the stubborn determination I had as I was trying to install Gentoo Linux on an Asus board. The BIOS wasn’t prepared for LINUX. I can say that I never stopped exploring. My parents bought me a 486 back in ‘92. At that time, I had DOS and the blinking cursor. One of my father’s friends bought me a mouse and gave me ten floppy disks with Windows 3.11 and one with Norton Commander. Well, shortly after that, one of our neighbors gave me a floppy disk with Wolfenstein 3D on it. What if they had bought a book about C++? By that time, I was shocked to realize that I was becoming a user.
But I had that little question how does it work? Answering that question gave me many headaches and caused repeated software reinstallations. I learned the basics; no matter what you won’t break the hardware, and in the process, backups are a great solution.
After one of my high school teachers realized that I had removed a virus from the IT class’ computer, they got me a week-long internship at IBM. I knew then, at 16, that I wanted to get a computer engineering degree and I wanted to work for IBM. I also had a burning desire to learn how to code, and by 1998, I was doing exactly that in tech school. A position at IBM followed, but there was one thing that I didn’t expect. IBM needed my help in the load shop. At the end of my degree, I was in the field repairing laptops and desktops for customers. It was great, but the position didn’t make use of my software skills. Today I know one thing; children want to know how things work and the reason for any results. This is how they evolve as people. If they take a little step in the right direction, overcoming their fear of failing, then they will never stop exploring. I will be that guy that gives the children the little push in the right direction, the direction of self-motivation and DevOps, in other words, not just a consumer zombie.