Coding and programming are becoming more and more popular amongst children the world over. Programming is now a popular past time, with many kids being introduced to coding through games and platforms such as Minecraft and Roblox.
Parents and schools are also increasing their attention on the subject, as coding is so relevant to kids’ futures. With dedication and education, children can learn how to code which still having fun. For example, FunTech offer a range of virtual courses aimed at kids.
It’s the fun elements that make coding and programming appealing to kids. Harnessing those elements is key to encouraging them.
With that in mind, we have compiled 14 cool facts about coding and programming might be the spur to get your kids interested in learning more.
Fun facts about coding / programming
1. There are around 700 separate programming languages
2. According to many online studies, the most disliked programming languages are Perl, Delphi, and VBA
With PHP, Objective-C, Coffeescript, and Ruby following close behind them. Funnily enough, two of the entries in this list, PHP and Ruby, are both still extremely popular with users regardless of how the community views them as a whole.
3. Recent studies show that around 70% of coding jobs have nothing to do with technology at all
That’s right, you or your child could learn to program and apply this knowledge to topics completely separate from technology – like nature studies, geography research, and film and design.
4. The world’s first computer programmer was a renowned female mathematician
Born in London on December 10, 1815, Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, was an extremely talented mathematician. Later on in life, she would work closely with Charles Babbage, a popular mechanical engineer responsible for creating one of the earliest mechanical computers.
From there, she would write a theory about coding a machine to calculate Bernoulli numbers. The subsequent code would eventually become the first algorithm carried out by a machine, and in essence, was the first computer program.
5. Computer Programming was instrumental in helping end World War II
Alan Turing was another incredibly famous mathematician who was also born in England, on June 23, 1912. In the computer science community, he is predominantly recognized as the father of modern-day computer science.
However, alongside this lofty title, he was also responsible for helping the allies bring World War II to a close. During the height of the large-scale conflict, he would use his skills to crack the Enigma machine, a cipher utilized by the Nazis to protect their military communications.
6. The first computer virus was created in 1986
Given the moniker Brain, the virus was created by two brothers, Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi, in Pakistan. According to the siblings, who ran a popular computer store, they created Brain to stop their customers from making copies of their software without permission.
However, unlike traditional viruses, Brain only contained a hidden copyright message and did not corrupt or delete any of the user’s files or information.
7. The first programming language was called FORTRAN
It was developed by a team lead by Mr. John Backus, an American computer scientist. First appearing in 1964, FORTRAN is still in use today, predominantly helping computer scientists to conduct complex tests in areas such as numerical weather prediction, geophysics, crystallography, and computational chemistry.
10. Many owners of large tech companies loved video games as kids
In one example, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple, first found success by developing their own video game called Breakout. From there, they would go on to become two of the most influential names in tech, earning billions of dollars throughout the years.
11. There are 3 very different types of Hackers, one being malicious, the other benevolent, and the last somewhere in between the two
Black hats are the first type and specialize in breaking into computer networks with malicious intent. Often, they will attempt to steal passwords, credit cards, and other types of sensitive information, blackmailing internet users for money in the process.
On the flip side, White hats primarily choose to use their skills for good, regularly being contracted by businesses to look for security holes in their online infrastructures.
Grey hats are a mixture of both, helping people yet also commonly exploiting their web-based vulnerabilities when not paid for their services.
12. The first-ever computer game made zero profit for its team of creators
The game, titled Spacewar, was built from the ground up by Steve Russel, a young computer programmer, and his passionate team of fellow developers. Incredibly, Steve and his team chose not to charge people to play Spacewar, and instead, happily shared their creation with anyone who wanted to try it out.
13. NASA still uses programs from the 70s in their spacecraft
According to experts, NASA chooses not to write new code or design new programs as it would be extremely expensive to carry this out. Alongside this, implementing new programs requires a lot of testing to minimize the chance of a catastrophic failure happening. Instead, they choose to stick to older tech that has proven to be reliable, safe, and non-costly.
Amazingly, one of NASA’s flagship spacecraft, the Space Shuttle, runs on less code than many of today’s cellphones and other gadgets.
14. The first computer “bug” was an actual real-life bug
In the programming world, a bug is an error that causes a program to crash or behave in strange ways. First coined by Thomas Edison in 1878 (to refer to technical errors of the period), the term “bug” would eventually find mainstream use in modern computing.
However, it was in 1947 that the first case of a computer bug was recorded. Grace Hopper, an admiral in the US Navy, was working on a Mark II computer when she discovered a moth had become stuck in the relay, thus causing it to malfunction.
Once the moth was removed, she wrote in her journal “first actual case of bug being found” – and the rest is history.