Why should you learn programming before a degree?
My Answer: You shouldn't
And here's my story...
I've been interested in computers since I was around 7 years old, my Dad built me my first computer and since then I have just been doing computing as part of my life.
I started designing very basic websites using WYSIWYG editors at around 10 years old.
After that I then started learning PHP (this post is not for debating weather PHP is a good or bad language [Ok its Marmite] but it was my first).
After that around the period minecraft came out I then started to program even more instead of just know how to setup PHP scripts. I then created my own Minecraft Serverlist and it worked (until it got hacked).
Around the middle I also did a little bit of Visual Basic programming as well. Then I didn't really like it as a language but still don't.
Since then I expanded more on PHP and then in 2012 there was this new device. The Raspberry Pi!
The Raspberry Pi was created to be an affordable computer for kids and students when Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft who were based at Cambridge University started to get concerned about the skills of already knowing programming are dramatically falling.
With the changes to the computing curriculum along with clubs (which I even run one!) and nationwide & worldwide schemes the aim now is for kids to already know how to program before they even start KS4 yet alone finish A-Levels (Or BTECs which I took).
But there's a problem already
Students already know how to program more than what is expected at University.
I can't say this for all of the computer science University courses but I am having to start my course of with a compulsary module looking at how we use the internet and social media along with a huge chunk of Scratch.
Now I have nothing against scratch as a programming language for kids (Around 11 is the oldest I would say) but for University students? NO
I mean I hated having to do Visual Basic from where I find it simple. But for coming out of doing Visual Basic, HTML, VB Programming in Excel and more going down to scratch is painful.
Doubly so when I'm paying £3000 for this module.
So the point:
It doesn't help that I have experience and know scratch already, I would prefer Python but even Visual Basic would make me happier right now (I hate programming using scratch, it slows me down and just doesn't feel like programming, I think this also links in from where scratch's description of their target audience is 'Youth & Creative' depending I have never been creative).
But the worst bit is I have a higher chance of doing something wrong.
Why? Because I'm a programmer! I will likely do something and make it easily do more than it should but doing that in my course can make me fail.
So what benefit do I have by knowing programming already?
None from what I can tell, I get to spend more time on the writing than learning a useless programming language (even more useless than VB) which is a benefit but it can actually cause me more trouble.
By knowing how to do this I'l likely add some extra features without knowing or do it a better way or a more complex way. But do extra? I'l likely get failed.
Can I get into a better University because I know programming?
No, I have almost 0 chance of getting into Cambridge because I took a BTEC Course. What about another university? I doubt it would have helped knowing programming.
So what's your views? I don't have a comments system on this blog so the best way is to likely tweet me @Ryanteck