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The best time for a child to learn how to code? Wait until they're nine

Also, more than half of adults believe coding should be taught in primary and secondary schools.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

CODING CONTINUES TO grow in popularity and for most adults, it’s believed that children as young as six should start learning it in schools.

In a survey carried out by Amárach Research which surveyed 1,000 adults on behalf of UPC, 70% believe that coding should be introduced to children at some stage between ages 6 to 12.

Of that group, the majority believed that the best ages for a child to start learning to code was when they are nine or ten years old.

When asked if coding should be introduced to schools, 54% said it should be incorporated in both primary and secondary level curriculums.


While most are in favour of children learning how to code, their understanding wasn’t as great. Less than half of those surveyed said they had a good or very good understanding of what programming is, with the younger age groups – those aged between 25 and 34 – showing the most awareness.

Of those who were in the 55+ demographic, roughly 70% said they had a poor or uncertain understanding of coding.

More than four out of five people recognised Java as a computer language, followed by Javascript while almost a quarter recognised computer programming languages like C++ or SQL.

However, the majority were less familiar with languages like C, Python, PHP, C#, Ruby and Objective-C while one in ten didn’t recognise the name of any programming language.

Anna-Maria Barry, a UPC staff volunteer who helps run CoderDojo clubs and is Corporate Communications General Manager for UPC Ireland said the findings showed that there is a “significant appetite” for computer coding in schools.

An earlier survey from the same organisation found that one-third of people believed learning coding was more important than Irish while two-thirds felt that it was as important as learning mainstream subjects like Geography, History, Maths and English.

The research was carried out to mark Tech Week 2015 where the finals of the National Scratch Coding Competition are taking place today in Dublin Castle.

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Read: Apple could be forced to pay 10 years of back taxes to Ireland >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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