Is C a good first programming language

Programming language for beginners

There is more than one programming language for beginners - but what is the point and what is it good for? We explain all of this here, give tips for all ages and familiarize you with the topic Programming for children familiar. In short, you won't be able to wait to try out a few things with your protégé!

What is a programming language?

Writing code isn't just for tech geeks. In the meantime there are special programming languages ​​for beginners with which the functionality, but also the development of software, can be learned in a playful way. By the way, that comes too University of Munster in their investigations to the result that schoolchildren can become enthusiastic about IT topics. Starting in preschool, learning a programming language enables beginners to get started with coding software.

But what does the use of a programming language mean exactly? Should the programmers of tomorrow be trained here? No, because the main thing is not only to use technology, but also to understand it!

What is the point of a programming language for beginners?

With a programming language, the most important thing for beginners is to try them out! By the way, there is a lot of creativity in coding and maybe you and your protégé will discover a new hobby like this. Many elementary schools have also recognized the importance of media education and are increasingly offering IT groups for their students, such as the Birth primary school in Velbert. Secondary schools also have programming in their program like that Johannes Kepler School. The digital world is still often neglected in the school system, although learning a programming language has many advantages for beginners.

Did you know?

Phonological awareness is the primary skill that promotes early coding. It also supports the 4 K’s: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity: important conditions for survival in the digital world. The kids learn early to develop logical solution strategies.

In addition, the programming language promotes skills in beginners that are otherwise needed in everyday life and learning. Thinking ahead, creative problem solving and understanding symbols are just as much a part of it as social and emotional skills. Learning is logically a spiraling process in which it comes to imagining, creating, playing, exchanging and reflecting: In other words, exactly the skills that beginners also need when learning a programming language!

Don't be shy

Today students grow up with computers and tablets and use the devices for digital games and programs from an early age. Just as you teach your offspring to use knives and forks, they also need support in dealing with the media (see Leopold / Ullmann, 2018). For beginners, learning a programming language means becoming creative yourself, designing media products according to your own ideas and better understanding the digital world of today and tomorrow.

Accordingly, we particularly appeal to parents to oppose coding openly and impartially. Some programming exercises are even designed so that families immerse themselves in this fascinating subject together.

Which programming language is suitable for beginners?

Since there is a whole range of simple and, in some cases, free applications for all ages, we will introduce you to the most important programming languages ​​for beginners below.

Scratch

Programming scratch learning is worth it! Because this well-known programming language provides beginners who can read and write with a quick sense of achievement. Using graphic programming modules, you can develop your own stories or games in which objects can also be moved (cf. Bergner / Leonhardt / Schroeder, 2017). On the other hand, there is also a worldwide online community in addition to this programming language, in which small coders can share interactive media such as stories, games and animations with others. However, it can also be used offline. Users learn to think creatively, to work together with others and to proceed systematically when implementing their ideas in this programming environment.

This programming language is also suitable for beginners who cannot read and write yet. The little ones can use it to tell interactive stories, develop fun games or perform plays. Backgrounds or scenes can be selected and all objects can be animated. With the integrated painting program, backgrounds, characters and objects can be changed individually or completely redesigned. These projects are saved automatically - this means that users can continue working on them, improve and change them whenever they feel like it.

In short, when dealing with a programming language, the beginner changes from the role of the consumer to the role of the designer of media and computer programs (cf. Borowski / Diethelm, 2014).

python

python is also one of the programming languages ​​that can be learned from around the age of 12. This language is clearly structured and powerful. As a result, it is easy to turn ideas into programs. With a little help, the Python IDLE learn to write simple programs and understand what loops, branches and functions are used for. Your offspring can incorporate pictures into the program and also get them moving. With these programming languages ​​for beginners, nothing stands in the way of a career as a game programmer, for example!

One game that uses a programming language for beginners is CodeCombat, which is suitable for students aged 9 and over. Here heroes are guided through different levels, gems are collected and opponents are defeated. The movements of the characters are only possible when your protégé enters the programming commands, so a good incentive to learn! It can be played individually, in groups and even with whole school classes.

C for beginners

In order to get fit in programming hardware, C is also suitable as a programming language for beginners. If your offspring starts using the C programming language, they will get to know the concept on which they are based. He gets an insight into variables and functions, learns the benefits of pointers and also learns how to output text on the screen. Learning C is particularly useful as a basis, as the spelling of the source code of many other programming languages ​​is based on the C style (cf. Klima / Selberherr, 2010).

The start-up LoCoMoGo offers a toy train called LoCoMotive, with which you can get to know the if-then principle of coding in a playful way off-screen at the beginning. Using an extended app for programming, users can learn the key programming language C. This principle is primarily based on the promotion of creativity and playful learning. The extended programming language C ++ is also important with regard to game development, so it may be a good incentive for students to give C a chance.

Java

Quick successes in Java learning can be achieved with the computer game "CodeSpells". This is suitable for the little ones from elementary school age. A magician appears in the game who uses spells to solve problems. The spells can be used with simple programming knowledge in Java. In a playful game setting, users learn how to use and adapt Java commands depending on the situation. The “CodeSpells” game also promotes the ability to creatively solve coding problems.

In general, the Java programming language is very popular and can be used in a variety of ways, e.g. for programming web and desktop applications as well as for apps and websites. Java is an important programming language, especially for the increased use of mobile devices and associated functions (Android apps). For this reason, it is worthwhile for your protégé to get an insight into Java as early as possible (see Schumann, 2018b).

Swift - Playground

The Swift programming language is suitable for beginners aged 8 and over. It is easy to use, but at the same time powerful to use. With the “Swift Playgrounds” app, the little ones can be introduced to coding through interactive puzzles and playful worlds with imaginative characters. This app is divided into competitions and tasks, whereby many programming basics can be learned, e.g. functions, commands, the transfer of variables, loops, parameters and conditions. In any case, it is aimed at young users and fulfills the play instinct of your protégé.

The nice thing about Swift is that the codes are simplified. Even if your child already has some previous knowledge of coding, they will find their way around easily with Swift (see Marquardt / Autenrieth, 2017).

Links to programming languages ​​for beginners

How can your offspring get started with a programming language for beginners? In the following table you will finally find all the important links to the programming languages ​​mentioned. Have fun trying!

Table 1: Links to the programming languages ​​for beginners

The possibilities for learning a programming language are diverse for beginners and you will certainly get your money's worth. These programming languages ​​form an ideal starting point for new ways of thinking and the realization of your own ideas - nothing stands in the way of your protégé's self-realization!

With the playful learning of a programming language, there are many ways for beginners to find their way into digital society. In any case, it is important that the users enjoy learning! Then the chances are good that you will benefit from what you have learned in the long term!

literature

Bergner, Nadine / Leonhardt, Thiemo / Schroeder, Ulrik(2017): Five arguments for a graphical programming entry - a study over four grades, Bonn.

Borowski, Christian / Diethelm, Ira (2009): On the way to computer science: programming in elementary school, Berlin.

Klima, Robert / Selberherr, Siegfried (2010): Programming in C, Vienna / New York.

Leopold, Marion / Ullmann, Monika (2018): Digital media in the day care center, Freiburg im Breisgau.

Marquardt, Anja / Autenrieth, Daniel (2017):New forms of digital learning - interdisciplinary teaching with the iPad, online publication.

Schumann, Hans-Georg (2018): Java for kids - easy entry into programming, e-book.

FAQs - programming language for beginners

At what age is it recommended to learn a programming language for beginners?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. With appropriate approaches, however, it is possible for small developers from the age of 4 to collect their first points of contact with the code. Otherwise, 6 years is an appropriate age to get under the childcare to further develop relevant knowledge.

How should beginners focus on the AlderPrepare for a programming language?

If you want to introduce your offspring to the basic knowledge of computer science, Computer Science Unplugged can be useful. It is a collection of learning activities in the form of games without a computer. This enables an approach to IT ways of thinking and the little ones can learn, for example, what algorithms and binary numbers are.

Why should the next generation become familiar with programming languages?

The main thing is not to turn your protégé into a programmer. Rather, the aim is for them to gain an understanding of how technology works. In the future, he will also have a better understanding of hacker attacks and cybersecurity: omnipresent threats to the digital world.

Is a programming language for beginners a good prerequisite for “correct coding”?

Absolutely! Programming languages ​​for beginners are just simplified versions of correct, comprehensive programming languages. Here you get all the important essentials for correct coding at hand.

What is the use of a programming language for beginners?

Your offspring will acquire complex ways of thinking and a more structured approach. He also develops a stronger sense of the consequences of his immediate actions. Coding teaches you to manage many steps synchronously.