Why I Code: A Student’s Perspective

CC licensed photo shared by Flickr user steve caddy

CC licensed photo shared by Flickr user steve caddy

Since coding is the new black, and we’ve already read some great critiques about the fervour, I wanted to get a student coder’s perspective. Below is another guest post from Amir (see here for his intriguing reflections on visiting his home country of Iran). He is an amazing students in my class who has been coding as a hobby for years. Again, with permission from his parents, here’s what he has to say.

Coding. It’s a new language that opens many windows. Coding is the ability to manipulate electronic and invisible things to do what you want them to do. It is the equivalent to communication with a friend. Well, it’s a little bit different, but it’s more or less the same thing.

I code to relax, really. It frustrates me when I’m stuck upon an error, but the rush of relief and pride I feel when I am able to pass by that problem, and go forward, is why I enjoy programming so much.

The first time I became really familiar with programming is when I made my first Windows binary text line. Is was extremely simple, yet I could not hide my excitement. When the command line said “Hello Amir,” I was amazed that for once I was the person on the other side, making the computer do what I want. I quickly became attracted to coding. When programming, there are many different languages, each with a different purpose and job than the other. I became relaxed with the language C#, and settled myself to expand upon this programming language. This was not a quick process.

During the length of summer, I had dedicated myself to spend as much time as I could reading about C# and experimenting with it. As soon as I felt prepared, I started coding. Instead of quickly hopping to programs with a graphical interface, I did my first few C# coding experiments in binary. The real first major thing I accomplished was when I created a calculator. You could put in any number, and any basic operation, and you would receive a rounded result. I continued onto this by making a math game, where there would be a randomly generated math equation from the few equations I had previously put in. If you succeed in your answer, the program would congratulate you, if not it would tell you you had failed.

The first time I decided to make a program with a graphical interface was when I created my very basic web browser. If I can tell you anything about coding, it is that once you start you can’t stop. I kept expanding my original browser, adding more capabilities such as tabs, a basic history system, and so on. It was an amazing experience. Now I won’t bore you on this topic, but I’ve went on to work on some more complex things such as a password box, graphical calculator, and many smaller yet important coding jobs.

Now this might be just me, but I think everyone should definitely learn some basic knowledge on programming. I mean, I’m no professional either, but if it is ever needed, I have the experience to read code, or create a program to do a certain job.

I think learning to code is one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I believe it will help me greatly in the future. It has greatly effected me as a learner. It taught me how to persevere with a problem until you solve it. Thank you for listening.

– Amir

What’s one thing every teacher should know about you?

On the first day of school, I had my students fill in a quick one line google form question which asked, “What’s one thing every teacher should know about you?” Here are some samples (I kept the original spelling, punctuation, and grammar):

I like learning alot with modern technology
I have bad vision (I can't see stuff that are far)
I am scared of needles
I have a fragile nose it was broken last year.
That I work hardly and independant
I work best individually sometimes.
I am not always able to concentrate in class.
I do gymnastics
I love hockey and runing sports
That I might need some help sometime.
That I like lego coins
Sometimes I freak out in a math test and start to cry.
I enjoy whale biology.
I have troubble sometimes.
I'm good at stuff when i like it
That I try my best to succeed
I have a difficult time concentrateing in class.
I get nervous when it comes to tests.
I don't like talking in front of the class. 
I love to learn about new things
i am a little bit slow answering multiplication and division questions.
one of my weakest subjects are reading and comprehension. 
I don't like like insects
i have a very short attention span and i have trouble concentrating after teachers talk for a long time
i like teachers that talk to me