Few days back, this advertisement appeared on my screen about coding for kids, full of exaggeration and I felt this is some kind of joke.
But today, when I got to know that one of my friends has invested 1 lac INR for his daughter (just of 7years) in Whitehat Jr, I was taken aback; and thought that it’s high time for me to write something on this.
Being a software engineer, entrepreneur and in this field of software for more than a decade, I want to tell all my dear friends, especially the parents of 6 to 14years kids, app development is far far more than just coding.
Coding has got a lot to do with solving real world problems.
I don’t want to disappoint any of the parents from dreaming but wish to show the reality and some dark sides of IT field.
Any app has various modules. The front screen which you see is just the user interface but all the functionality is hidden behind with hell lot of programming and complex logic and various algorithms.
Coding for Kids
Whitehat Jr, is specifically for school kids. And they claim that the child trained under their program would be welcomed in Silicon valley, next CEO of Google and so on with their certificate.
Oh my GOD!
We are providing training in the same field since last 5 years and we can not guarantee this to anyone because we really don’t want the knowledge we provide should be only for entering in Google.
In fact we wish to have more and more software developers and entrepreneurs in India.
Anyways, technology is continuously changing just like the law of change. What you learn today, is outdated after few years.
So a kid of 7 or 8 years is trained to develop an app but when he will be graduate, the real world would welcome him with whole new technology.
So ? what is he going to do with the certificate? Nothing. Starts new from scratch.
Yes, their goal is to develop logic building in kids. That’s good and understandable.
They are using some sort of blockly based scripted web-app(Just drag and drop methods,) to design their so called ‘apps’.
Frankly speaking, by such methods only light, educational or static apps can be developed. And not real world apps which can be used live with millions or billions of people all over the world.
What investors look for in startups?
So the Chintu shown in the ad, who seems to be quite intelligent, and he has developed an app(shown in the ad) would be actually waiting for the investors once he grow up.
This is so horrible rather cheap to show such kind of things like investors fighting with each others for investing in Chintu’s app.(Like do they want to show that it’s so easy to get investors after their course? )
Check this brilliant advice what exactly investors need:
I am not saying, that your child can’t do it. Yes, they’ve the ability to learn, but they’ve no exposure to real world of programming. And that is achieved only and only with experience and not with such classroom training.
The way WhiteHat Jr. has approached the subject of coding is the typical way of making kids memorize code blocks and syntax(like tables of mathematics), but coding is more than just these pre-built app in a 45 minute class.
I personally feel, they have made a joke of coding by making their syllabus such as a person would only need to copy and paste and drag and drop the code modules.
And tell me, if a school child can develop an app, there are already many engineers who’re in this field of coding, so why aren’t they getting investors for their app?
Bill Gates comparison:
If we take the example of Bill gates(because some parents would feel that he started programming at the age of 13 and coding for kids is really required for future), we should not forget the fact that he devoted himself to the programming.
He was dropped out student and used to sit for hours in the lab to develop operating system.
Your kid is already occupied with so many things and now you’re planning his career. I agree, this age is perfect for learning new things, but then enroll them in real world programming classes and not this quick learning things.
These skills would really not last for long. Moreover, these are not exactly the coding methods which are used in IT industry.
The trainers at their end are not experienced. They’re teaching only those things which has been told them to teach and not beyond that. So no scope for expanding the horizons of your knowledge in the field of programming.
Don’t be pressurized by the line at the top of the WhiteHat Jr. page saying that there are only 19 spots left. It is just a marketing strategy to loot money from innocent parents. (who never think about the money for children’s future. )
Best ways to learn coding online:
Agree, technology and programming is the future. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that WhiteHat Jr. is the only way to achieve the objective. Keeping your kid in touch with basic programming concepts.
Why not go for the free one, right?
In Scratch, you will learn everything you need to know, free of cost in a very easy, hassle free manner. Your child won’t be pressurized to follow a fixed curriculum.
Look at the thousands of YouTube videos by people from all around the world. It is well known that JAVA is the language for developing applications, right? Just type: Java for beginners: You will be amazed at the quality of videos. And you will surely find easily understandable videos for your kids.
Have you seen this well known site called Code.org? Free of cost and accessible almost anywhere. And the curriculum is great too. It genuinely makes coding and building apps easy for kids.
And if still you feel that, on Youtube there’re not structured classes of coding for kids, then Udemy is also a good option to learn about computer science, Python, C language, java programming, Android app development etc. The are paid-courses but they are much much cheaper and cover a better syllabus.
If your kid is really interested in software, there are much better sources on the internet with less investment.
You only have to find them. And 90% of them are free. They also have the same syllabus.
Don’t be wowed by film stars on their advertisements who claim that their kids learn programming on WhiteHat Jr. They’re paid to say the bold statement.
If we look at the business part of Whitehat Jr, they’ve got very good funding. And also created good employment for Indians. But in case of marketing they’re playing with the emotions of parents.
The reality is that the institute certification has 0 value. Your child won’t get a job at Google or Microsoft with that certification. It is the hard reality.
So I would request, make an educated and informed decision while buying ANY subscription for your child.