Basic Computer Programming Tutorials for Kids: Why CastleRock is Right for You

Basic Computer Programming Tutorials for Kids: Why CastleRock is Right for You

                In this technological age, programming is becoming more and more ubiquitous. It is not only marketable skill but also an enjoyable hobby. There are many reasons to start learning programming languages, but it might be hard to decide which programming language kids should learn first. Inevitably, you will learn many programming languages during your computer science journey in order to achieve different outcomes when coding, but CastleRock’s beginner-friendly version of C++ is a great place to begin.


                CastleRock is closely related to C++. C++ is one of the most common programming languages in the world and can be used to code on all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, UNIX, and Linus. C++ is already all around you, whether you realize it or not, as it was used to code Google Chrome, Facebook, and Amazon, so learning a beginner’s language that is similar to C++ will give you a head start in the world of coding.


                When learning your first programming language, the main priority is to understand how you need to think when typing code. This is where pseudocode, which is universal for all programming languages, can come in handy. Computers are only able to follow the procedures you tell them to specifically. They read each line of code exactly and take every character into consideration. This means when you type code, you must think how the computer thinks. If you do not define every variable clearly and in the right order, the computer will not know how to run the code. Pseudocode is writing out in plain English all the information you must give the computer, and all the steps you must follow in order to achieve the end goal of your code. Self-teaching regular C++ might not stress this importance, however, CastleRock does.  

                Both CastleRock and C++ are low-level programming languages. In programming, there are both low and high-level programming languages. Both kinds are useful for certain applications, but low-level languages are closer to the “language” that computers can directly speak. Any code you type must be translated into machine language so the computer can carry out tasks. If you learn a low-level language first, you are forced to understand how basic processes work, which will make learning other low-level and high-level languages more intuitive.

                CastleRock is an object-oriented language, and while C++ isn’t purely object oriented, it is often geared to be heavily object oriented. C#, Python, and Java- three extremely common programming languages- are all also object oriented, so if you already have a grasp on an object-oriented language, learning these others will be more instinctive.  Coding this way makes use of “classes” and “objects.” Classes are broad categories of related data and functions, while objects are specific actions that belong to classes.  This type of programming is especially useful in robotics to program sensors. CastleRock has many classes, such as RoboTerraLED, which all have objects such as turn on or slow blink, telling your robot how to act in the physical world.

                While it might be difficult for beginners to immediately delve into C++, CastleRock’s version of C++ is targeted to teach students the important base concepts behind a variety of programming languages. CastleRock will teach the problem-solving skills necessary to move on to a more complex programming language, as well as concise coding, basic algorithms, loops, naming rules, and the importance of code organization. When coding, all programs should be as concise as possible. This not only makes the code more pleasing to the eye, easier to debug, and easier for others to understand, but also helps cut down on computing times. CastleRock also stresses the importance of commenting out lines and code organization using its three step system of naming electronics, attaching electronics, and finally handling events. Getting accustomed to these good habits will not only make coding more enjoyable because it’s easier to understand and debug, but also give style tips that will make coding neater and therefore more useful to perspective teammates, collaborators, or even employers.  

                Learning CastleRock’s programming language based off of C++ is just a starting point; once you learn one programming language you will be able to understand why having a basic understanding of many programming languages will benefit you greatly. In addition, you will need to learn many programming languages to compete in job markets. CastleRock is a great place to start due to its beginner-friendly platform, object orientation, and similarities to C++. Start learning today!