If I only knew how to code…
Learning how to code cannot be harder than learning how to read and write. That was what suddenly struck Jenny Forsberg after 11 years as a teacher. Today she is a software developer at Semcon and wants to help make digitization beneficial for everyone.
The tools in my classroom had become computerized, smartboards had been installed, iPads had arrived and the laptops increased in numbers. The only thing missing was useful software. If I ordered the math book in digital form, I got pictures of the old paper book on the new iPads. The kids still had to write their answers in their notebooks and I had to mark their books as I always had done. What difference did the computers make without useful software?
It suddenly struck me; why was I wasting my time with these books when I could be teaching my students instead? I was wasting time working hard with things a computer could do in no time. If I only knew how to code, I would at least make a program that could correct my students’ table times homework. How hard could it be?
Learning a new language
Said and done, I entered Chalmers in 2013 and started writing my first lines of code. “Int main”, I wrote, and thought; “Now I begin.” To my surprise, I discovered that I was not lacking mathematical knowledge; instead, I needed to learn a completely new language. A new language that made it possible to read and write logical thoughts in a completely new way. A language that made it possible to formulate my own thoughts with a tool that could make dreams come true.
Teachers at Chalmers encouraged me to go on with my idea of a self-correcting homework program, and so did my current employer Semcon, which I joined in 2016. Today I am happy to see that Semcon now has a prototype of the self-correcting homework program. With the help of a digital game, kids’ homework can be made fun, personalized and instructive. And at the same time it reduces the workload for teachers.
The impact of digitization
With digitization, humanity has opened a door that earlier generations could only dream of. The self-correcting homework program is only one example of what we can do nowadays. I think digital solutions will change our society deeper than the development of printing did. All of us living now can see how important things move from paper to screens, but we have not yet seen in full what the digitization will bring forth.
However, this development does not grow by itself; it needs to be designed. I want to take an active part in it and do my best in making it a helpful resource for as many people as possible. For instance through our game programming course for unaccompanied refugees, which is a part of our CSR-program at Semcon.
My best advice if you want to learn how to code:
Do not think that you are stupid if you do not understand. No one is born to understand it. Coding is something you have to learn, just like reading and writing.
Do not think that you are too old. I started to learn when I was 34 years old and it works all fine! Remember, many people have learned how to read and write as grown-ups.
Join a course and let someone teach you. Ask all the questions you can think of and let several people explain the very same thing for you.
- Title: Computer engineer
- Education: Bachelor in Computer Engineering
- Worked at Semcon since: 2016
- I have most fun at work when I: develop tools for the children in need in our city.