Software, Programming, and Coding for Kids

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Studying the STEM subjects is an important part of learning because it helps prepare you to succeed in today's world. With these skills, you are able to gather information, understand and analyze it, and then solve difficult problems. Software engineering is a STEM career. Software engineering involves designing software for a variety of purposes. As a software engineer, if you see a problem, you could solve it with a computer program. Computer programmers and engineers also need to understand how to read and write computer code, which makes up the foundation of technology. Many programs, courses, and games are designed to teach coding.

Learning to Code

The future of the digital age rests in computer science jobs. Computers and other electronic equipment such as cell phones, navigation systems, and appliances all are built using machine language, which tells them how to work. Coding refers to the ability to read and write this machine language. When you understand code, you actually have the ability to write commands that make machines do what you want them to do. Having coding skills gives you the ability to solve problems using computers. Not only can a software program solve a problem or make a job easier, but coding involves using important critical thinking skills as you attack a problem and create a solution. Coding also includes the ability to debug code, which is when you go through lines of code to find and fix syntax errors that prevent your code from running the way you expect it to run.

Many websites exist to teach beginning and advanced coding skills to people of all ages. Although older teens and adults may seem to be the main group of people who should learn to code as they prepare for a career in software engineering, kids can benefit from these skills as well. In fact, many websites present coding lessons and activities designed specifically to teach kids these important skills. Even playing games can be a useful way to learn to code. Games can also help you develop your problem-solving skills as you figure out how to design and create your own inventions.

What Is Software Engineering?

A computer software engineer develops programs designed to run in a computer or on a mobile device. This software might be designed to help us communicate, get where we need to go, or learn new things. Software engineers also create video games. Software is also used to solve problems in the business world. For example, a manufacturing company might use software or a specialized robot that runs on code to make processes more efficient and save money.

Working as a software engineer requires strong math skills, which you use for reasoning and calculating probabilities. You also have to be an innovative thinker, able to look at situations and come up with new or unusual solutions. If you think you want to be a software engineer, you should keep that in mind when you make your class schedule, even before you get to college. Make sure you learn a lot of science and math in high school, taking classes such as algebra, geometry, and calculus. Add computer science, chemistry, and physics to your class schedule. After high school graduation, prepare to study for a bachelor's degree in computer software engineering. Some students even go further than a bachelor's degree, earning an advanced degree in this specialty.

Once you're on the job as a software engineer, you can expect to be actively involved with the design and development of software and computer systems. You might specialize in creating computer games using intricate models of real-world physics, developing operating systems for computers, or designing business applications that help people do their jobs more effectively. It's a software engineer's job to turn ideas for technology into programs that make those ideas reality.