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Like Learning a New Language: Why Coding Can Be Learned At Any Age

A person can learn new languages as many as he wants to in his lifetime. Hyperpolygots have shown that human beings can have a high degree of proficiency in over 12 languages. But how about programming languages? Before one can dive into coding, he should at least be proficient in the English language. Writing code also requires an inspired and disciplined study.

Golden Years

Case in point is 82-year-old Masako Wakamiya of Japan who has gone to author a free iOS game, Hinadan. It only took one year for the retired bank clerk to write code in 2017 and released the app in 2018. Wakamiya’s popular app also has garnered nearly 5 stars on the Apple App Store, and roughly 53,000 downloads worldwide in the same year. She showed that one is never too old to code. Asked what made her decide to learn to code, Wakamiya said it gave her motivation to live. “As you age, you lose many things: your husband, your job, your hair, your eyesight. The minuses are quite numerous. But when you learn something new, whether it be programming or the piano, it is a plus, it’s motivating,” she said in an interview Coding is also good for the brain. Research shows programmers may get the same benefits of a bilingual, such as a delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease, for example. University of Passau professor Janet Siegmund and her colleagues ran fMRI brain scans on 17 volunteers while they were reading code snippets for a study in 2014. “We found [the] first empirical evidence that both, natural language and programming language, require the same areas in the brain,” she said. “Based on this, we can infer that understanding programming languages and natural languages appear to be similar.”

Adult Switchers

Whereas those in their golden years can still learn to code to give them a sense of fulfillment, jumping into programming can also benefit those experiencing quarter-life or mid-life crises. Unlike gymnastics and playing piano which are tied to people’s physiological maturity, coding knows no physical limitations. Programming does not require the flexibility of the body and the speed of young neurons. As long as they do not have memory problems, people in their 20s or 40s are not too late to learn how to write code. However, there are challenges that adult switchers face. There is the psychological pressure on oneself and fear of failure. One’s family or spouse can be resistant to a profession change because not everyone can afford to quit a job to study. There is also the reality of preference towards young, entry-level workers.  Despite these, those interested in studying coding should know that there are a lot of mature learners wanting to upskill to be able to compete in the job market. Like Wakamiya, it is also a matter of mindset — self-development is essential in being human. If you have the willpower to set aside 3-4 hours to study coding while having a day job, you will eventually learn how to do it.


Did you know that children under the age of 7 acquire foreign languages extremely rapidly? So why not the computer vernacular? Jon Mattingly, cofounder of iPad game Kodable, learned that kids can easily begin to understand logic, three to five step commands, and the difference between reality and fantasy at the age of four. For him, these are all important concepts for beginning to learn programming. Mattingly added that introducing kids to coding in early elementary is the best age range for they will be able to learn programming more easily in adulthood. Apart from that, cultivating the decision-making skills and logic of the young learners is invaluable even if they don’t pursue professions in programming. Sign up for courses Now!


If you want your kids to learn how to code through games, go visit Q Rangers.

Q  Rangers is an online learning platform that is dedicated to impact the future by empowering today’s youth through tech education. An education technology school, it offers single or group online coding classes for kids, Minecraft, graphic design, comic creation, 3D animation, digital marketing, and photography among others to kids ages 6 to 18 years old. Q Rangers provides a comprehensive program that enables students to create and launch their own products.

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