August 07, 2012, 11:44 AM —
No one doubts that programming, or at least technical literacy, is critical for today's students. But how early should one start slinging code?
A blog by 18 year old Kenny Tran titled "Didn't Begin When I Was 12" started a conversation on YCombinator. Tran wonders if by 18 he's too old to become a good programmer, since many started younger. Is 18 too old to start and be successful? Is 12 too young?
Many make the argument that the younger the better. Alfred Thompson, in his Microsoft Education blog, says middle school is the time to start. A 13 year old asks if that's too young on Yahoo Answers. If you do start children early, how?
Aiden and I built our first Lego NXT robot the other day. We programmed it together. He's five.
Steve Dembo on blogs.msdn.com
My own children (13 & 17) have TAUGHT THEMSELVES programming because I thought they were too young when they felt they were ready.
Erica Roberts on blogs.msdn.com
I started, well, pre-kindergarten. Or in my teens, for anything major and self-guided. Or at about twenty for producing professional results. Or in my late twenties, as someone who could do research-level algorithms work. Or today. If I stop using a language for a while, I have to relearn it.
glimcat on news.ycombinator.com
I think kids should be introduced to the idea as soon as they're old enough to follow instructions, like making brownie mix using the recipe on the box. If you can do that, you can learn some very basic programming concepts.
Liz Krane on blogs.msdn.com
you DON'T start by learning languages, you start by learning programming.
Colanth on answers.yahoo.com
If you're a programmer, tell us how old you were when you started.