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Top Ten Coding Terms Every Parent Should Know

It's like they are speaking another language, right? Well, okay, it is another language. Fear not, having a conversation with your kids who want to learn to code is totally doable with our simple cheat sheet.

1. Programming & Coding

The terms programming and coding can be used interchangeably. Coding/programming is writing instructions that tell a computer how to perform a task. It's made up of words, numbers and symbols that tell a computer what to do, in a language it understands.

2. Programming Languages

Programming languages are used to implement algorithms (more on that later). They create programs that communicate instructions to a computer. There are many programming languages to choose from.

3. Python

A widely used, high-level programming language designed to make code easier to read. You need fewer lines of code to express concepts. Very popular amongst data scientists and our language of choice here at codetoday. Learn why we think so on our post about why Python is a great language for kids. It can be used for all kinds, from game design and developing websites to machine learning and AI.

4. Code

Code is the term used for the human-readable text that sets exact rules for the computer. It can be written in lots of different programming languages.

5. Algorithm

A set of instructions that are followed to solve a problem. We use them daily, for example, following a recipe to cook your favourite dish. In programming, this is a list of instructions that a computer follows to perform tasks.

6. Block-Based Coding

Often used in schools for introducing the concept of programming, using a drag and drop system. It is a great introduction to the world of kids learning to code, but ideally, they would move swiftly onto a programming language they can use in the future. See our article Python or Scratch to decide what is best for your child.

7. Loop

One of the most powerful concepts in coding. A loop is a sequence of instructions that repeat the same process until a condition is met and it receives the order to stop. For example, your favourite playlist will automatically play until you run out of songs. There are two types of loop in Python; the for loop and the while loop (but that's another article). We have great fun teaching loops. Games are all based around a while loop that controls what happens in each frame of the game.

8. Frontend & Backend

The frontend is the user interface of a computer program (like what you are looking at right now). The backend is the part of an application or system responsible for storing and manipulating data and is not accessible to the user.

9. Computational Thinking

This is the process of creating solutions by assessing a problem and breaking it down. Computational thinking allows programmers to find similarities, differences, and patterns. It is excellent for developing problem-solving skills and resilience when kids learn to code.

10. Syntax

Just like English, programming languages have their own rules on how statements can be conveyed, known as syntax. This changes from language to language. They all have rules for spelling, punctuation and grammar - spelling something wrong will lead to errors in the program.

Talking to your kids about learning to code

There are a lot of terms and definitions when it comes to computer programming, but don't let that stop you from having the conversations. Talking about coding with your child helps consolidate learning and encourages them to do more. Our teachers are dedicated to helping children learn to code with our live online sessions.

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