What are the Different Coding Languages Your Child Can Learn?

What are the Different Coding Languages Your Child Can Learn?
August 3, 2021

What are the Different Coding Languages Your Child Can Learn?

As the trend of coding classes in Singapore rises, you may be thinking of signing your child up for some as well. Before deciding which class to send your child to, it is important to consider the different coding languages your child can learn. Depending on the coding language they are practicing, your child can learn to make different types of software for different platforms, such as mobile applications, websites, or even artificial intelligence systems. This is a great accomplishment to put on your child’s portfolio and can broaden their career prospects depending on the language they learn. Additionally, some coding languages are easier to learn than others. Choosing the right coding language for your child can make a difference in whether they grow to love coding or end up dreading it.

Although programming languages are often simply grouped under the umbrella of coding, there are actually hundreds of different languages one can learn. Coding languages are just like natural human languages in that each one is used to communicate with a different type of computer system. To be able to code a program that can run on a certain system, you will have to learn the same language that that computer understands.

Coding languages vary widely in difficulty level. For beginners, especially young children, it is good to start with a simpler coding language to get a grasp on the concept before moving on to more complicated languages. As such, these are the common programming languages widely taught in coding schools in Singapore, which are easy for children to pick up and understand.

Scratch

Scratch is an educational tool meant to teach kids – or anyone! – to code. Developed by Mitch Resnick and patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it features an intuitive visual interface with drag-and-drop functionality. Kids can drag their desired command to the editor and see its effect on animating a friendly cartoon sprite. The editor allows them to chain commands together, essentially programming an animation in its most basic form. As they progress to more advanced levels, kids can even start programming simple games! Scratch is free and has a large online community of educators and learners.

Blockly

Created by Google, Blockly is another visual programming tool similar to Scratch. As its name suggests, kids can drag and drop blocks into an editor, linking them together to form a sequence of commands. Instead of visualising the effects on a cartoon sprite, however, Blockly will translate these visual blocks into actual code for the popular programming languages of JavaScript, Python, PHP, Lua and Dart. This makes Blockly a great transitioning tool for kids to progress from visual block commands to text-based programming languages. Additionally, the clean design of Blockly, as compared to Scratch’s more cartoonish appearance, may be more appealing to older children.

Python

The perfect graduation language from block-based coding tools, Python is often the first text-based programming language that new coders are introduced to because it is easy to pick up. It is also extremely versatile and can be used to program practically anything – well-known platforms made using Python include Google, Spotify and Instagram. Python has plenty of libraries for data science and artificial intelligence, another growing trend in today’s technological world. If your child is interested in these areas, exploring Python may be a good start to help them learn more about data analysis – an invaluable skill in the technological field.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a popular language for web development. Like Python, it is a great beginner language for coders who are just starting out. JavaScript focuses more on front-end website development, and also features a wide variety of libraries to create just about anything on a webpage. JavaScript is used on almost every website out there. It is an important language to know if your child has any interest in making websites. Despite its wide use in websites, JavaScript can also be used to code games and work with other applications. The great thing about JavaScript is that you do not need to install anything to code with it. Simply open any text editor and start coding!

Lua

Another beginner-friendly language, Lua (pronounced Loo-ah) is often used to create plugins and modifications for games because it is easy to integrate into other applications. Well-known applications that use Lua include Adobe Photoshop, World of Warcraft, and Angry Birds. Lua has a growing online community with an increasing interest in the language. If your child is interested in creating scripts for games, Lua is a great option to look into. Roblox, a game platform popular with kids, also uses a modified version of Lua to create scripts. As such, kids will be able to create their own games on Roblox by learning to code in Lua.

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