By this point, we’re all aware of the large spectrum of benefits that children will have if they start to learn and explore coding at a young age. The cognitive and professional development that can aid them later on in life has been discussed widely through several working papers and articles alike. But the question that remains is; where do we start?
There are a plethora of different programming languages and interfaces available currently, that children who are starting with coding could easily confuse themselves with. To simplify things, the answer to this question would be – for children under twelve, use Scratch; and for children above twelve, use Python. We chose this pattern because Scratch is a great tool to learn the concepts of programming at a young age; due to its gamified approach and attractive interface. The easy and fun method of learning that Scratch brings to the table helps the children to develop an interest in coding even at their young stage.
But it is when Python enters the picture that things start to get spicy!
Unlike the entry-level Scratch, Python is a powerful tool that can be used to create well-defined programs. It is recognized as an official language at Google and they have been using it since their early days. They have a strong relationship with the language and have sponsored several Python conferences. Apart from this, social media giants like Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Spotify, etc; all use Python.
While all of the factors stand true, the number one reason why python is recommended to children is because of the language’s straightforwardness and the simplicity that it provides in building code. It functions in an easy-to-read format that is written in English, instead of the typical 1’s and 0’s. Python can help the children in developing any program that they wish to make, without imposing them with a steep learning curve that other programming languages might demand; this is in part due to the readability of the language as well as the huge array of libraries that python offers.
This is one of the main reasons why Python is considered most suited for children. The language consists of over 137,000 libraries. These libraries help in making the development of programs and websites much easier. This feature of bringing about templates to programming removes the redundancy of having to build things from scratch and instead children can focus on working on making their code function perfectly.
For reference we can think of libraries as Instagram filters for photos; where instead of us having to color correct each and every photo by adjusting the hue, saturation, and contrast, we can put on a filter that is closer to the results that we wish to achieve and then work on that. Similarly, there are a huge array of extensions available for programmers to use in Python for Data Visualization, Numerical Computation, Compiling, etc.
It Reads Like English
Another important reason why Python is recommended for children is because of its ease of understanding. When kids first step into the field of programming, the syntaxes and the way that it functions can be intimidating to them. In the cases of languages like C++ and Java, this novelty is emphasized much more strongly. But with Python, however, we can see a shift from this daunting pattern; the language is much simpler and even a novice can understand what it reads with only a little bit of familiarising. Python also requires proper spacing for the code to work properly, which can contribute indirectly to the code looking much cleaner in structure. This constitution helps in understanding the written code much easier as well.
Quick to Code
Python, like almost every other programming language, helps children to create software, games, and websites, and anything that they imagine into tangible results; but the main catch is that, with the help of Python, children will be able to do this in a much faster and simpler phase. Because the fact that python doesn’t require a long time of strenuous learning helps the children to hop right into the fun parts of coding; this also results in them not losing interest in the activity quickly. The setup of Python is pretty straightforward as well; all you need is a computer or a laptop and step into the official Python website and run the setup; the process would be over in a couple of minutes and you’ll be good to go.
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Future of Python
According to Stack Overflow, one of the most trusted communities of programmers, Python’s weightage is increasing yearly by 27%. This is in part due to the ease of access that the programming language provides and also because of the rise in demand for the language due to the job markets in the future seriously considering it. Some of which are;
Data Analysts – Data analysts constantly go through a large chunk of data that they receive from users or even data that are put out by the companies; this large stack of information is called Big Data. Python is particularly more useful for Big Data analysis due to its large templates of information as well as the libraries.
Artificial Intelligence – We know the part that AI plays in our lives and how it is integrated into most of the things that surround us. Python is useful for building and developing AI because machine learning consists of constantly writing and rewriting code to make it work, and this is what Python excels in. You can execute code in Python in two or three lines, which is much simpler when compared to other languages.
The popularity of Python is still skyrocketing and it has long transcended from being an entry-level programming language, it is very capable and is even being used by tech giants to build their software. The reasons just pile up to highlight that Python is here to stay!! and giving your child early exposure to such a strong language age can only benefit them in the longer run.
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