Children click, swipe and tap away on smartphones, tablets and laptops with an ease that mystifies many of their elders.
Now, thanks to beginner-friendly programming languages, kids can do more than just click on someone else’s creation — they can make their own games, animations and art.
This semester, freshman Samuel Ndungi spends first period at Rainier Beach High School learning how to write applications for a smartphone.
“I was surprised that you can do this on your own,” Ndungi said. “ I thought that it was only people from Microsoft and big companies who can do this.”
His teacher, Michael Braun, expects 700 students from the Seattle area to make that same discovery this Friday, at the second annual Puget Sound App Day at Rainier Beach High. Registration for the event ends Monday.
Kids who have never written a line of computer code will get a chance to program their own mobile apps, guided by professional techies during a party-like event that includes a disc jockey, raffle prizes and dance contests — one of many new opportunities for children in the Seattle area to get familiar with coding, both inside and outside of school.
Some who learn to code may get hooked and pursue technology careers — a compelling argument in the backyards of Microsoft and Amazon — but coding is more than just a job skill.
Children who learn it also may discover a powerful new way to think, create and express themselves in the defining medium of the 21st century, regardless of what career they pursue.