@alfredtwo Alfred, what traits in kids do you see that correlate well with programming ability?— Dave Briccetti (@dcbriccetti) October 10, 2015
It’s a good question. Not an easy one to answer though. Back in the 1970s when I was looking for my first programming job a lot of companies gave applicants “aptitude tests.” None of the companies who gave me tests hired me. The company that did hire me gave me three raises in the first year I worked there. Apparently I had some aptitude after all.
When I think about my students and the professionals I have worked with over the years seem to have some traits I notice.
Curiosity – The students who ask me “how do I ..” or “what happens if …” are the ones who do the best in my classes.
Makers – the people I know who make good programmers want to make things. It might be music, it might be electronics, it might be woodworking (I know a surprising number of software people who like to work with wood), it might be art (photography is very common) but what ever it is people who like to make things seem to do well in computing.
An ability to look at things differently – Science fiction and fantasy seems to be a common interest among many software people. I like to think that is because they like to look at things as they might be compared to how they are. Not is not the only way to look at things differently and I see other indicators of that in software people. Politics, history, art, what ever there are CS people looking at things differently.
None of this is really scientific on my part of course. It is just how things look to me through my own life’s filters. What do other people see as indicators?