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Release Your Inner Nerd: Building the Next Generation of Coders
By: Jason Will
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How essential is one’s understanding of how to program computers? Steve Jobs is quoted here saying, “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer…because it teaches you how to think.” There are many facets of life that better our thinking, but does coding knowledge pave the most effective path? Also, schools will need to determine the best age to start integrating classes that offer programming skills, but it’ll be interesting to see if schools adopt a change in their curriculum. Let’s take a glimpse into programming history and fast-forward to the present day to better understand the benefits.

Programming was initially started in 1954 with the invention of FORTRAN, which was the first high-level programming language developed by IBM for the purpose of scientific and engineering applications. As time went on and computers progressively made leaps in processing power, this laid the groundwork for future languages to be developed. Today there are thousands of programming languages, which means that our world is completely surrounded on a daily basis with things that require programming.

From the moment you wake up from the alarm on your phone or traditional alarm clock, programming allowed that to happen. A car, bus, motorcycle, or truthfully most forms of transportation; programming allowed those to happen. Try going through your day and identify all the moments where you encounter programming and it is truly astonishing. So how can we learn from this and what is the best way to begin?

Computer programming is definitely not for everyone, but that shouldn’t excuse you from wanting to learn. There isn’t an expectation to become the next founder of Facebook or Microsoft, even though that would be super cool. The idea here is to expand your mind and be open to learning new concepts. It is never too early to learn, so here are some resources. The first place to start is Khan Academy, which is a not-for-profit organization that aims to better education for free. Another great resource is Code.org, which aims to make programming accessible to everyone. If you are a student or teacher, this is especially a good option since the site provides searches capabilities for locating schools offering programming classes. If your school doesn’t currently offer programming, approach a teacher and have them bring code to your school.

Take the next step and incorporate programming into your life, because as the world continues to place a greater emphasis on technology, these skills will become mandatory. Also, this will offer a competitive edge if you manage to start learning sooner than later. Best of luck on your programming journey and be sure to share some thoughts within the comment section.

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About the Author
Jason Will is an avid traveler and entrepreneur based in San Francisco where he serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipkick, which is the first travel site to completely customize the search results on an individual basis. Zipkick is Netflix for travel and their mission is to make travel search more accessible and mobile. Check out www.zipkick.com and connect with Jason via Twitter or LinkedIn.  
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