Parents may hope that their daughter or son will become the next Bill Gates. You may be wondering whether your child needs a head start on a career as a computer programmer.
The best generic careers are ones where one touches people or touches things because it's not yet possible to pull a tooth or repair a toilet over the internet.
The emerging trend in public schools is to teach children to write computer code instead of skills that they've already mastered such as word processing and manipulating spreadsheets.
Even if the child will never become the next Linus Torvalds, there are good reasons for a child to learn to program computers.
These include problem solving and gaining experience in logical thinking. The ability to create custom computer code is also a huge advantage in fields like mathematics and science. As with other technologies, there is no harm to having a basic understanding of computer programming.
Computer programming is not for every child, any more than learning to play the piano or being put on an ice rink and learning to duck slap shots.
Best advice: within your budget, offer your child a smorgasbord of learning choices, both in sports and in intellectual opportunities; guide but do not push.
Full disclosure: the author of this article teaches computer programming in his Wasaga Beach home office.
Gerry Lowry Wasaga Beach 705.999.9195