From the smartphones billions of people communicate with daily to the e-readers and portable consoles that entertain us, technology has insinuated itself into the day-to-day of nearly every human being on the planet.
For some, devices play a practical role. For others, they are used as an outlet for creativity or problem-solving.
For nine-year-old Tanmay Bakshi, technology — namely, iOS-based devices — represent a canvas on to which he can project his ideas and create new and wonderful things.
Consider Bakshi’s “tTables,” a mathematics-based puzzle game that he designed and coded and has now managed to launch on the Apple App Store.
Bakshi’s story, which ran this past Wednesday in the Toronto Star, is a fascinating one: here is a young boy who has mastered several coding languages, is teaching his computer programming father the coding language used by iOS-based devices, and has successfully created a marketable product using his understanding of that coding language.
It’s uncanny. Bakshi’s feat is a prodigious one. But there’s no reason to believe that such things would be unachievable for many young, creative minds, if they were equipped with the requisite skills.
Perhaps this is the spirit that has driven several technological visionaries, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey — among others — to push for computer coding education in schools.
These and many other technological leaders, as well as celebrities will.i.am and Chris Bosh, have been working with non-profit foundation Code.org to promote computer programming education.
For many of them, having the talent and the mind to design operating systems, software or social media networks has been the difference between being an everyman working a typical desk job and a multimillionaire.
That’s not to say that every young mind would grow up to be the next Bill Gates, but certainly every individual could do with some technological education and another outlet to explore their identity and create new things.
As a former computer programming student, myself — I studied the subject through high school and, at one time, was considering it as a career option — I can honestly say that having the modest amount of knowledge I have has given me options that might not otherwise have existed and has enabled me to excel in a career field not often recognized for technological prowess.
Everyone can benefit from understanding — if not actively participating in — technological development and advancement.
For that reason, alone, perhaps Code.org is on the right track.
Perhaps it’s time to make young Tanmay Bakshi the rule, and not the exception who proves one.