To Code or Not To Code

Today, coding seems to be an essential skill that everyone is talking about.  I agree with that and have first-hand experience with that.  Coding used to be something that was nerdy and geeky when I was growing up.  Nothing glamourous about learning C++ or Pascal.  Times have definitely changed in the last twenty years.  Coding is an essential skill that ALL kids should be learning today.  Let me tell you my story.

Most if not all of the stories on Tigerdad.me are personal stories that I want to inform and convey to my readers.  I want to give information that is real and I have a personal experience so it’s not B.S.  I hate reading stories on Yahoo that give you a headline and a story that has a few paragraphs of garbage. Literally wasting five minutes of my life for no reason.  I’m sure you know what I mean.

Which child is coding?

The one child of mine that is coding is my youngest son.  I’ve had him enrolled in an online course for almost a year now using Tynker.com.  My son is a huge fan of Minecraft.  He’s been playing for the past two years or so on different platforms.  My phone, Tablet, PC, and XBOX.  I looked into seeing if there were any ways to use that love of Minecraft in combination with coding.  I found Tynker had a great online platform that combined both just the way I wanted.  At first, everything that he did was centered on the game.  Making different skins for the game and costumes for the characters.  However lately, my son has been using the coding to make small little games not even related to Minecraft.  

A great way to tie Coding into real life

I’ve been trying to relate the importance of coding to all my children.  My oldest son has been very set against going into Computer Science or coding when going to college.  Not completely sure why but I’ve been trying to give him examples of why he should.  My daughter doesn’t really seem to mind so I will have her do coding classes this coming school year.  Anyway, everything up till now has been me reading story after story of coding success stories I’ve found searching online.

Real life Examples

I have two younger cousins from my mother’s side.  The older cousin is a girl and the younger cousin is a boy.  I love using them as examples for my kids because they are real people that my kids know.  We see them a couple of times a year and we can see what they are up to every time we meet for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Girl Cousin 

My girl cousin has always been a great example of working hard and excelling.  Out of everyone in my family, she was the only one to have graduated from an Ivy League school, Dartmouth.  In high school, she got great grades and got a great score on the SAT.  She was even the reason that my son started in cello.  She played cello in high school but not to the extent that my oldest son does.  

The Ivy League is the end?

She graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in Philosophy.  Before she graduated, she was selected as an intern to a competitive law firm in NYC and she ended up working there for a couple of years.  What did she get out of that?  A desire to become a lawyer?  Nope!  She learned that she didn’t want anything to do with law.  For the last few years, she has been working at a couple of internet marketing companies.  She was making decent money but nothing great.  

What have we learned so far?

I think there are two things that we learned from her so far.  First, graduating from an Ivy League gets your foot in the door.  She has no problems finding jobs.  Having an Ivy League degree does set you apart and gives you a leg up on the competition.  Second,  you need to graduate with a degree that you can use to make money.  I’m not knocking Philosophy but unless you’re going into law there really isn’t much use for it.  What that means is that as a parent or a guardian YOU need to guide them into something more practical.  She even said to me last year that she wished someone would have given her advice on going into a profession that was more conducive to earning more money.  Obviously, she is smart enough to go into anything so that was a real A-Ha moment for me.

My A-Ha Moment

Obviously, she was smart enough to go into anything that she wanted.  However, if someone had mentored her into going in a different avenue, things would be much different today.  That was a real A-Ha moment for me! Just because you graduate from an Ivy League doesn’t mean squat if you don’t graduate with the right degree. The right degree is something that you can make a great future for yourself.  

 

This leads me to today…

What has all this got to do with coding?  Well, my cousin quit her job at an internet marketing company late last year.  She enrolled in one of the best coding boot camps this past spring after talking to some of her friends. She graduated in June, first in her class!  What did I say about smart enough?  She was offered a teaching job at the boot camp before she graduated starting at 90K.  Not too shabby, right?  She didn’t take the job because she wanted to see what else was out there.  Last I heard she accepted a job and went to Korea for a month before starting.  End of story???  No, while in Korea she is getting interview after interview for better jobs.  That is awesome!!!  There is a huge push for women in tech.  Perfect storm right now if your qualified and a woman in tech!

Boy Cousin

My male cousin is what most people would say a slacker.  He’s as smart as his sister or maybe even more so but has no discipline.  So much wasted potential.  He did a half ass job in high school but still got a full scholarship to a top school in Boston.  He ended up going for two years.  The first year he did horrible and ended up losing his scholarship.  The second year told his parents that he would try harder and ended up throwing his parents money away.  Dropped out of college after that second year.  

Last few years

The last few years have been wasted.  He went to  a City College on and off for a couple of years not knowing what he wanted to do.  He’s spent countless hours playing online games and dabbling with buying and selling online.  Today he’s following in his sister’s footsteps.

Today

Finally, he’s decided to do what his sister did and he will start at the same coding boot camp this September and will finish in early 2018.  I really want to find out how he does.  Will he finish the class?  If he does what kind of jobs will be available for him?  If he does well and graduates will he have the same quality of job offers as his sister?  I want to see if his sister graduating from an Ivy and having work experience gave her a leg up.  Very curious indeed.  

Coding is the Future

Coding really is the present and the future.  If you want your child to get ahead in almost any field you must have them learn to code.  Start them off slow with coding classes at the local library or online.  Go to Code.org and read up on what you can do to help them learn.  Tiger Parenting is about learning and evolving to stay one step ahead of the competition.  Having your children be as well prepared as possible for their futures.  

Good Luck!