maths lab

Busting myths about coding

Busting myths about coding

Pic for representational purpose only. iStock

Manan Khurma 

What do a hacker, a game developer, and a robot operator have in common? They all code. While we may find their careers fascinating - and in some cases the end product such as a unique game or a mobile app, bottom line is that their stories are told in a language that a machine can comprehend. 

Today, most of our lives revolve around apps that are developed using code, which makes us ask a simple question: why don't people take up coding at an early age? The straightforward answer is- there are several myths and misconceptions about coding that make it seem way too intimidating and overwhelming, especially for kids. Let's address some of them and delve deep into what coding is all about!

Learning to code means becoming a programmer

Undoubtedly, getting introduced to coding at an early stage sets you up for a career in IT or software development. You can take up coding as a recreational activity, and contrary to popular belief, it is not an expensive hobby. You don' require any fancy, high-end software or hardware to get started. A text editor and web browser are enough to get you up and running! 

You are too young to code

Many parents believe that schoolchildren are too young to learn to code. However, research suggests otherwise. Since children absorb information more efficiently in their elementary years, getting a head start in coding can be especially advantageous, allowing them to explore the subject in a truly creative way. Case in point, the most prominent coders and programmers in the world today, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, started coding at a young age.

You must be a math wizard 

You DO NOT need to be great at math to learn how to code! A lot of coding only requires logic, creativity, and dedication. However, do remember that coding is just a subset of mathematics, and chances are your math skills may improve if you develop your coding skills.

The 'Perfect' language

No one language is better than the other. It all depends on what you plan to do with your coding skills. It is always a good idea to focus on which part of the industry you plan to work in and selecting a language accordingly.


Brain Teaser

Consider the following situation: You need to turn the four digits of a number lock to the right combination to unlock it. Each digit on the lock can be turned forward or backwards. 2719 are the present digits on the lock. 7 can be turned forward to 8, or backward to 6. If you turn 9 forward, it circularly goes to 0. Likewise, if you turn 0 backwards, you circle back to 9.

Now, what is the minimum number of turns to unlock the number lock if the present digits are 2719 and the key combination to open the lock is 4383?

A. 21 B. 19 C. 17 D. 13 E.12

D) 13 is the correct answer. Every digit has the option to go forward or backward. We pick the smaller number of these turns. 

This task is a minimisation problem on sets of algorithmically determined values. Minimisation is a kind of an optimisation problem. In this task, we are to minimise a sum of independent values. This is achieved by minimising each value respectively. Thus, minimising the sum of independent values is equivalent to sum of minima of independent values. It is all computational thinking.

-The writer is Founder and Chairman, Cuemath

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