From a Poor-Average Kid to a Programming Guru!!
“I was just an average kid in school. I had to work very hard to pass my grades. All my school life I had very little time to play as I had to always study to make sure I get to the top. While other kids were playing or watching TV after school I would be studying.
I did not grow up with my family and I lived with four different families. This lack of stability also affected my performance at school. I struggled with everything as I had no one to take care of my needs. I was grateful that I had roof over my head and food but that was all, nothing more. No one was willing to take care of my other needs like clothes, cosmetics, etc.
Fortunately, I managed to finish high school and got a bursary which unfortunately failed to pay for me but a relative offered to pay for some of my university fees so I could proceed till the final year.
The people from the bursary office (when I still thought they would pay for me) –advised me to do a course called “Bachelor of Science(BSc) in IT”. I didn’t know what this was exactly but since they were gonna pay for me I did not mind. I took this like an instruction even though I had never touched a computer before. I had only seen computers at the shops by the tills, never even put my finger on a computer before. Now to follow a qualification that involved computers was rather ambitious.
For the first semester at university I failed mathematics and physics. The second semester same story, I failed them again. I was allowed to proceed to the next level for the subjects I passed while repeating the failed subjects. I decided to repeat maths which was mandatory for the first year and I stopped doing physics and took another subject (psychology) which was totally unrelated to my qualification just to make the required number.
My subjects were broken down into a number of sub-modules, for example – computer science involved – programming, information systems, etc. Same goes for statistics and the rest of the subjects. As I proceeded with my studies I realized that the more l learnt programming my logical thinking was growing and I was becoming better and better with mall my subjects. It is as if all I needed was to learn programming and somehow I became intelligent. To my surprise for my final year I got a distinction with some of the modules of statistics and my computer science modules were all passed very well. I managed to finish my degree on record time and I graduated.
I did odd jobs for three and half years before I finally got my IT job. By that time, I had forgotten most of what I learnt at varsity. And besides that none of the programming languages I learnt at varsity were used at my workplace so I had to start learning again from scratch. As an intern I was supposed to be given a stipend of R1600 per month for a period of 8 months. The government was paying for the stipend but my company was providing the workplace. The internship program involved 40 interns and all we did was 2 one-week programming courses and then went to a workplace to gain practical workplace experience. The consulting company that took me asked their client to allow me to learn from their systems and that I will be an “unbillable resource”. They kept giving me more and more complex work and I was able to do it. I would research and research until I get it right. They were so surprised at how “intelligent” I was. My “logical thinking” impressed them. On my fourth month of the internship program the consulting company realized how fast I was delivering the tasks, how good was the programs I was writing, how excellent was my work. They requested the client to start paying for my services. The client had also been watching me and they were happy to pay my company R500 an hour for my services. An intern with four months’ experience! The company was kind enough to add R3500 to my R1600 stipend per month and they called that travel allowance. I was happy to earn more.
The whole internship program was reviewed – I became the top intern out of the entire group of forty interns. After the 8 months’ internship program I got my first permanent job earning R8000 per month. I was so happy. On top of that I also received travel allowance and a commission which was a percentage of the money I made for them at a client.
I am now one of the top programmers in the country earning a very high salary. My name has become like a brand. People keep calling me to beg me to come join their companies.
Looking back, I realize that anyone can become a programmer even if they are not top students. I took it upon myself to offer programming lessons and I have been very successful. I make sure its not just head knowledge but its practical and becomes a skill. I have learnt that if you can read and write and are keen to learn, you can become whatever you want to become even if you are an average person. I do programming lessons for kids as young as 7 years old.” – Princess.
Why is Programming Important for Kids!!
As Steve Jobs once said, “I think everybody should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think. I view computer science as a liberal art.” In other words, learning to code won’t just give you technical knowledge—it’ll also give you a new way to approach your work. Some of the Careers that require logical thinking are:
¨ Programming helps children learn to problem solve.
¨ A child expands their creativity when they learn how to code.
¨ Coding teaches children how to think logically.
¨ Children can grow their maths skills while coding, without even realizing it.
¨ Children who know how to code can take a vague idea and use their creativity to turn it something effective.
So far I don’t know any unemployed good programmers. By letting your child learn programming at a young age you are opening a big world of possibilities for them.
Not only is your child guaranteed a job, they will also be able to create jobs themselves. Nowadays everyone is into App Development, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Coding Games, etc. Even the smallest companies need some kind of a system to operate – starting with a simple excel spreadsheet to a system to store their employee records, customer information, supplier information, recording their stock, timesheet system, etc.