A Parent’s Reflection: The Ubiquitous Influence of Coding
- July 30, 2021
- Posted by: marienpb
- Category: Blockcyber
A parent’s six takeaways after joining BlockCyber’s Coding class on Python.
Everyone talks about it! Everyone knows it! Everyone chases after it!
No, I am not talking about the phenomenal K-Pop boy band, BTS, but something else.
I am referring to coding!
The ubiquitous influence of coding is a force unhindered, undeniable and unstoppable.
This influence got into me and I decided to find out about coding. Armed with an inquisitive mind, I joined a group of youths in BlockCyber’s June 2021 Holiday Bootcamp Coding Class—Python.
For a start, what is coding? Simply put: It is the process or activity of writing computer programs and these programmes carry out tasks you instruct them to do. Python is a computer language which you use to tell the programme what to do. Coding can help build and programme a robot, create a game and do up an animation.
As parents, we will ask, “Why let our children learn coding?”
Coding classes are in high demand and they are mushrooming all across Singapore in enrichment centres, schools and even in private tuition. Many centres see an increase in attendance for these classes. Coding is selling like hot-cakes!
As parents, we want our children to be better prepared for the future especially when our government is envisioning Singapore to be a Smart Nation where digital and technological skills will be sought after. Many parents see the value of letting their children learn an extra digital skill like coding as we face a future digital economy.
Now, let’s look closer into our education landscape. Presently, 19 secondary schools are teaching programming at the GCE O-Levels; six IP schools or junior colleges offer computing as an A-Level subject; applications to IT-related degrees are rising in local universities. All these tell us that programming and computer skills are highly important if we are to future-proof our children. We should consider letting our children learn coding for a start.
- Problem-Solving Skills
During coding, the children learn “Computational Thinking”. It is the thinking process involving formulating a real-world problem in computational terms, and to design an algorithm (a sequence of step-by-step operations) which the computer can take in to reach a solution. In doing that, children learn logical thinking, how to apply algorithms, abstraction, decomposition and other skills. Learning coding also helps the children develop practical skillsets in questioning the world and learning to approach problems from different angles and perspectives.
Computational thinking also develop one’s ability in organising data well to allow a problem to be solved efficiently. For example, you can find a book in the library with ease when you know how the books are organised and categorised. Similarly, if you can organise your data well, you can use them effectively to solve your problems. These are all part of problem solving skills which are important in their studies, careers and personal life. Coding helps develop these lifeskills.
- Improve Academic Performance
Once our children begin to realise that, at many levels, problems are fundamentally similar in computational terms, they will see the applications of computational thinking at every nook and cranny. In addition to computational thinking and programming skills, coding enhance the development of executive functioning skills, such as planning and mathematical thinking. These skillsets will assist them down the academic road.
IT project manager, Ng Chee Wee who sent his children for coding classes has this to say, “Programming lessons train them in logic and clear thinking. It’s a valuable skill that helps in everyday life and any industry that deals with computers; they don’t necessarily have to become programmers to benefit from classes.” 
Needless to say, having such skills would translate into improved academic performance.
Now, back to my class…
During the class, when our trainer mentioned Binary Code, the ‘1’s and the ‘0’s, I remembered I did an introductory module in programming when I was in tertiary education some 30 years ago.” That’s about it, for me, in terms of coding. Fast forward 30 years later, the programming scene has evolved so much that there is more to coding.
BlockCyber classes will be able to give you the ‘more’ in a solid grounding.
- Curated Contents
All the contents offered by BlockCyber are meticulously curated to cater to the participants. The BlockCyber Team make sure the contents taught are of good quality and standard. The contents are being updated regularly so that what the participants are learning will always be current.
- Experienced Trainers
Having good contents is one thing. But having excellent trainers who are able to help participants understand the contents, is equally important. No doubts about it.
BlockCyber’s trainers have years of experience, deep knowledgeable and are apt to teach different age-groups. In fact, our trainers bring with them years of industrial and teaching experience are able to impart what is relevant and trending on the topics. Being experts in their fields gives them the cutting-edge.
In addition, our trainers are crystal clear in explanation, systematic in presentation and articulate in their delivery. What is difficult to understand becomes easier to grasp after the trainer’s explanation. Participants usually come into the class on the first day, feeling clueless. But by the end of the second day, they can read, understand code, take part in the CTF (Capture The Flag) challenge where their understanding of coding is tested, solve all the coding challenges and play the mini-games (The Clown) they build along the way. Such understanding always bring our trainer tremendous joy and extreme satisfaction when the participants can achieve these tasks.
- Engaging Lessons
Who doesn’t like to play games in classes? Games start adrenalin pumping and bring excitement to the class. However, these are not ordinary games but games which our trainers painstakingly create for the class to play so as to reinforce their learning. During our class, while playing Kahoots and CTF, I saw the faces of the participants lit up and that sense of anticipation after each games, I knew they enjoyed these activities thoroughly.
Our trainers connect with participants through their engaging style of teaching to bring contents alive. They are able to captivate the attention of youngsters from the beginning to the end of the class. Our trainers use familiar examples to augment their teachings which we can identify, bring the eureka moments to us and peppered the lessons with humour. For examples, our trainer got them to relate to how their games work when coding the programme, how their games keep scores and how some of the characters in the game are being drawn digitally. There is never a dull moment in class with them.
This is a whole new learning experience for me being in this class where I was acquainted with terms like ‘turtle’, ‘tuples’, ‘key values. I am glad that I know more than ‘1’s and ‘0’s.
Hear what the participants have to say…
Wyatt Wong: Very fun!
Joses Chin: Interesting class!
Darren: I like the games!
I knew nothing about coding when I joined this group of young people in their class. By the end of the course, I have a better understanding what coding is. I would highly recommend our children to sign up for BlockCyber’s classes. Come with us into this bandwagon and experience the influence of coding bringing us further and wider!
 Definitions from Oxford Languages
 The phrase “computational thinking” has been coined by professor of computer science at Columbia University Jeanette Wing.
Written by Carol Lim
Carol is a freelance editorial coordinator for her religious denominational newsletter for eight years. She plans, edits, writes and proofreads articles for this publication. In addition, she is also their social media administrator. In her leisure time, she paints, crafts, cooks and reads. She has two teenage children.