What Do You Do At Coding Camp?

One of the newest and most popular camps for kids this summer is Coding Camp.  It's something that didn't exist when we were kids so many of us don't understand what it is and why it's important.  Some fear that it's solely based indoors in front of a screen, but at places like CodeRev Kids, in addition to learning from instructors who have worked at places such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sony, and Sega, kids get to partake in a variety of outdoor activities that strengthen team-building and encourage play.  We asked CodeRev Kids founder Evan Boorman to break this new phenomenon down for us.  

Q: What is coding?

A: Coding is the future...and the present.  Coding is the set of skills used to create everything that happens that we take for granted on all the technology we use every day.  Coding is creating software so that websites work the way we want them to, apps function how we want them to, Siri understands us better and predict what we want when we tell her something, our car navigation system works properly, our personal digital information is kept safe, and our iTunes works properly from any apple device we want to hear our favorite songs on.

Q: How will coding skills help our kids?

A: In our kids' future, there will be many, many more coding jobs available than other types of jobs, and even jobs that can utilize coding, even though coding is not a specific requirement of the job, as well as jobs in which our kids will be directly working with coders on a daily basis and will need a basic understanding of code to do their jobs more effectively.  Coding is thought by most experts to be drastically increasing in importance in the workforce - software developers straight out of college earn around 75k per year now - and this will likely increase in our future.

Q: What is the right age to start learning?

A: This is a point of contention, depending on who you speak to.  In China, the new thing is to start in preschool, where kids can begin to learn the logic involved in coding like they would learn a language, so that it affects the way the brain is developing.  This is also true after preschool, and we recommend starting at our centers or camps at age 6, though there are some great resources out there to begin developing the thought processes involved in coding earlier than 6.

Q: Aside from camps and schools, is there anything we can do to teach our kids from home?

A: Yes, go to Code.org, Scratch, Scratch Jr, and Kodu Game Lab to get your kids started on coding for free at home.  They can learn a lot this way, and get ahead start in developing this essential skill for their future.