Daddy Programmer, Pt.1

Being father to three girls is a very exciting job. They continue to surprise me every day. My six-year-old daughter, Riley Joy, has recently taken an interest in what I spend my time doing on the computer. I am a web developer/programmer, it is what I love to do.

A few days ago she decided that she wanted to program too. I was typing on my Ultrabook when I saw her come out of the basement with her art supplies. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as she took a sheet of paper and folded it in half. On the top half she drew a screen and on the bottom half she drew a keyboard and a touchpad. But that was not enough, she also cut out and made a mouse and mousepad. Then she sat next to me, typing and clicking away!

For about two days she pretended to program on her paper computer. Then yesterday she announced in her most determined voice,

"Daddy, I want to learn programming."

I was thrilled! Suddenly I remembered myself, twenty-four years ago on my dad's old 286, clicking a 5-1/4" floppy disk into place and navigating through DOS to my favorite games.

The fact of the matter is that computers are just passive machines, waiting to be told what to do. Whether we are entering individual commands from the command line or writing out long scripts in files, we are just giving the computer commands. And if I could do it at her age, then she can certainly do it too!

I had a blast over the last day and a half, preparing for her first "programming" class. When I arrived home from work tonight she was excitedly waiting and came running in to remind me that tonight was her first class!