My soon to be 15 year old daughter was engrossed with something on her laptop yesterday. Thinking it was fan-fiction, I asked her what she was writing.
She knitted her brow for a moment, and looked up.
“Its code combat Dad.” she said, quite matter of factly.
I must have had a slightly startled expression on my face. I knew she had dabbled with it, and had recommended (/sigh) Python as a language, after she took (and aced) a Java class last year, as Python is inherently simpler. I would have loved to have introduced her to Perl, but she needs to figure out which tools to use on her own.
“Nice” I said. “What are you coding in?”
“Well” she said, “I had been using Python, but it was too annoying. So I started using Lua.”
I was stunned at several levels. None of which have anything to do with gender. Mostly having to do with what I thought I knew about what she wanted to do in her down time. And that she now has taught herself two computer languages for code combat and other activities.
And of course, the self-taught computer geek (started with Basic, Assembly, Fortran, C, …) in me was thinking “a chip off the old block”.
I don’t want to push her in any particular direction, she’s got to decide what she wants, and discover what she enjoys. And that appears to include learning new computer languages for programming contests and games.
I want to make sure I encourage this. Solving problems is fun, and coding should be fun. I think she’s getting this.