Learning to Code, No Matter Your Age


I’ve been a software engineer for over 30 years, and I’m here to tell you, learning to code is hard. Especially if you’re starting from scratch. I mean, we’re talking about completely new concepts that most people have never experienced before. And then, on top of that, there’s the challenge of finding the time.

I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that the majority of people in our society who want to learn to code find it too challenging and give up before they even get started.

In this article I’ll share with you what I wish someone had told me when I was starting out: how anyone can learn to code, no matter their age. Learning to code isn’t just for young people or techies anymore. I believe coding is a skill that anyone can learn at any point in their life and career.

So let’s dive in!

Learning to code has become a topic of conversation in many households. But what about learning to code before you can even read?

There are new programs, such as Khan Academy’s “Hour of Code,” that aim to introduce children ages 4 to 6 to the basics of computer programming. The effort is part of a nationwide campaign that begins Monday, Computer Science Education Week, and is designed to promote computer science education in schools and universities.

Khan Academy’s “Hour of Code” recently debuted on its website. The program teaches kids basic commands (such as move forward and turn right) that tell their toy character, called an “agent,” through a series of interactive puzzles how to complete certain tasks, such as dragging an object from one area to another.

The Hour of Code is an invitation for kids around the world to try coding for one hour during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15.

Khan Academy is one of many websites and apps offering young children a chance at coding languages such as Scratch or Javascript, which have been traditionally taught in middle and high school classrooms.

The amount of time spent on computers by children ages 8 and younger has more than doubled since 1997, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. These days,

Computer programming is a rapidly growing field with a wide range of applications, and the demand for qualified programmers and developers is skyrocketing.

This is the perfect time to get started. Regardless of your age, learning to code can be beneficial as well as enjoyable. If you are just starting out in your career, knowing how to code can make you a more competitive job candidate. If you are already in the workforce, learning to code can open up new opportunities. And if you are retired or seeking a new hobby, it’s not too late to learn what all the fuss is about!

Learning to code can be intimidating at first, but don’t worry! Our courses are designed for beginners of all ages, and you don’t need any experience or special equipment to get started. You’ll learn the basics of coding directly from our expert coaches and community members who have been where you are.

The Khan Academy, an online education nonprofit company, is offering a new computer science program that teaches elementary and middle school students how to code. The initiative, CS First, is being offered for free to students across the United States.

“The goal of the CS First initiative is to make it easy for any teacher to teach their students computer science,” said Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. “We want to bring computer science into the classroom.”

CS First is inspired by the Hour of Code campaign that took place last fall. The event was created by Code.org, another nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science education in schools. Hour of Code encouraged tens of millions of people around the world to try programming for one hour as a way to show them what coding was all about. It was also an effort to show that coding is something anyone can learn at any age.

Khan Academy has been a popular coding resource for years, but it’s only in the last few months that they’ve been pushing the coding aspect of their site. Now there is a new dedicated “Coding” area and some really excellent tutorials with great and helpful visuals to assist in learning HTML/CSS and JavaScript, two languages commonly used in web development.

The best part about Khan Academy’s coding tutorials is that you don’t need to know any programming at all in order to benefit from them. The tutorials start off teaching you the very basics of computer programming and move on from there. It is perfect for beginners, but even if you already know how to code you’ll find something useful here as well.

In addition to the tutorials, you can also practice your coding skills by writing code directly on the site. It’s a great way to test out what you’ve learned or just play around with basic code without having to install anything on your system first. You can also try out more complex programs without having to understand every line of code used (I recommend looking at these after trying some of the tutorials).

Khan Academy is an excellent resource for learning all sorts of subjects, and now they have finally made learning HTML/CSS and JavaScript easier than ever before.

When you think of programming, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a hacker wearing sunglasses and a hoodie, typing furiously into the wee hours of the night? Is it Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, who famously started their companies in college dorm rooms? Or maybe you imagine a young child, gleefully playing with an expensive robot toy.

Coding is often portrayed as being for a specific type of person—usually a young man—but this simply isn’t true. Computer science is for everyone: You don’t have to be a 20-something white guy with glasses to become a programmer. That’s why I’m so excited about coding: It’s one of many areas in which technology can truly level the playing field and bring us closer to full equality and inclusion. Here are just a few ways you can teach yourself how to code:

Dive into Khan Academy’s free computer science courses.

The nonprofit Khan Academy has been around since 2008, and its free computer science courses have been available online since 2011. The coursework uses simple language and graphics to teach programming fundamentals like loops and conditionals, making it accessible to beginners.

Khan Academy is also exploring new technologies that will help the site teach even more people how to code. In

There’s a new generation of coding schools, and they’re not just for nerds.

John C. Briggs was a college student in the late ’90s when he got into programming. “I was a total nerd,” he admits. “I used to sit in my dorm room and code stuff.” A philosophy major, Briggs wasn’t thinking about starting a career as a software developer—he was just having fun. But over the next decade, he kept thinking about that time in his life as he went from job to job, working at a law firm, then an asset management firm and then as an independent consultant for hedge funds. Eventually, he signed up for the General Assembly coding bootcamp, quit his job and started his own company.

Eight years later, Briggs is doing well with his own company, which makes software for the hedge fund industry. He knows firsthand how valuable learning to code can be—and how much it changed his own life. “You see people around you who are making money and they’re not necessarily smarter than you,” he says. “Well, how do they do it? They have technical skills that I don’t have.”

He’s not alone: The number of Americans enrolling in coding bootcamps has more than doubled each


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