Should we teach high schoolers Scratch?

I saw a post today saying that we shouldn’t be teaching high schoolers the Scratch programming language–they should go straight to the harder ones.

As someone who has taught programming to both children and adults, including at a prestigious code bootcamp (App Academy), this is a mistake for a couple reasons:

1) You can make sufficiently complex programs in Scratch, e.g., Terraria

2) When someone hires you to be a software engineer, your job is not to write code. It’s to solve problems, and code is your means to do it. Scratch will teach you these problem-solving skills.

3) Finally, programming can be very intimidating, especially when we throw folks into the deep end with concepts like pointers.

I truly believe anyone can code. But that doesn’t mean everyone will learn at the same rate! Let them go at their own pace. It will pay off in the long run.


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