Over the past few years, most of education platforms and news sites have been filled with various programming teaching projects. From children to adults, if you do not know any of computer language and coding, like C, JAVA, Python and SQL, you are shameful.
In recent years, I have many friends started their programming learning path. Some undergraduates major in CS, some elect CS as a minor, and some office workers have also joined the part-time coding study program. But a large part of them either changed their majors in their junior year, or they cried to me during study about they didn’t even know what and why they were studying and lost hope eventually. Seeing this, I can’t stop thinking, how exactly does programming exist in our lives?
Is programming just a tool?
With the era of digitalization, the rise of Silicon Valley in the world, the development of major technology companies, programming has become much more popular. “Programmer” became the hottest topic in our life. This social phenomenon makes everyone think that learning to program can lead you to the success of life and even the Silicon Valley is controlled by yourself and the keyboard in your hand.
If you just see the programming as a money-making tool, your view is too narrow. Programming is for human beings, society, and you and me, as a tool is just the tip of its iceberg. The transformation of thinking brought about by programming is the true body of the huge iceberg.
Programming and critical thinking
What is critical thinking? ——Simply to say, it is to enable us to have a sober, independent, and objective ability to screen useful information, judgment ability, self-correction ability and decision-making ability in the information explosion era. Critical thinking is not the so-called “fighting”, “find trouble” and “argument”, nor is it simply “ask a question”. So, what does programming have to do with critical thinking?
They have similar problem-solving methods
1. Identify the problem or goal
2. Analyze the problem or goal
4. Start with the first solution
5. Repeat the above steps
The above 5 steps are the most common troubleshooting in programming. Programmers must find the problem first and try different methods and strategies until they find a practical method to solve the problem. Instead of simply answering a “there is a problem”.
Practice is the TOP 1
Programming can solve one problem from different angles, so there will be different kinds of solutions. In this process, there is no so-called correct answer. This will promote the cultivation of different ways of thinking.
The cultivation of the way of thinking is definitely not an armchair strategist, and it is definitely not going to be accomplished in a few programming courses. This is a gradual process, and it is the result of thinking in practice.
What if the question without the correct answer? In programming, this is a common situation. As mentioned above, there are multiple correct answers in the process of coding. When you encounter programming dead end, there is always a way to return and start over. This attitude encourages people to think outside the mindset. For example, each website, animation, or game will be different from each other according to the user’s design aesthetics, functions, and available technologies. This variability makes us face the reality that a person must remain open to new ideas, rather than pretending to be alone. In turn, this paved the way for the cultivation of critical thinking.
All in all, is it necessary to learn programming? Absolutely! But the purpose of learning programming is not just to make more money.
Programming as to the further education and critical thinking education is always the critical part.