Ready, Set, Code!


Mica Chesshir, E.I.C.

   When one thinks of coding, complicated patterns and big numbers come to many people’s minds, making coding seem intimidating. However, one yearly event shows students that coding isn’t as scary as it appears. The Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to computer science that teaches students throughout the world the basics of coding.

   Computer Science teacher, Mr. Telford, is enthusiastic about this year’s Hour of Code and hopes that it will encourage Arkansas High students to take Computer Science. The Hour of Code “breaks barriers of conceptions that people have about Computer Science,” said Mr. Telford. “It lets people know anyone can code. People have a fear of it, and they don’t understand that it’s not a difficult thing to learn at all. If you can learn a foreign language, you can learn how to code.”

   There are good reasons for this new emphasis on students learning how to code. Computer Science is an industry that is rapidly growing. Computer science graduates are receiving numerous job opportunities, as well as the second highest starting salary (Network World). “Anyone who majors in Computer Science is practically guaranteed a job,” said Mr. Telford. He began to list off multiple occupations for people with the ability to code. “Game design, cybersecurity for the government or a company, robotics, artificial intelligence, and management for big databases”, along with a great number of others, are all promising career paths for coders.

   Regardless if you want to pursue a career in coding, the ability to code can benefit everyone in this technologically dominant age. Coding can enhance your “problem solving skills”, and according to Mr. Telford, “it helps you break bigger things down into little parts.”

   Computer Science students, Gustavo Jusino, Cekel Rogers, and Brodie Gohlsom each spoke of their favorite aspects of coding. Jusino said that he liked how it gave him the “ability to put numbers and words down and create an amazing picture.” Gholson replied that he liked “the creativity you can apply with it.” Rogers said with assurance, “coding was hard at first, but it got easier.” Although coding takes practice, it can be fun and the results rewarding. Jusino said that the favorite thing he has ever coded is when he created a moving object, a bouncing ball. Mr. Telford quickly explained that this was the first step towards animation. Gohlsom enjoys adding colors, and Rogers liked when he learned how to make shapes so that he could create bigger ideas. These individual interests shows how coding opens up multiple paths for a person to express themselves.

   On December 6th, Arkansas High will be one of the thousands of schools participating in this special learning experience, and at the same time as you, students from across the globe will be looking at their screens, coding for the first time, and hopefully, not for the last.