Philippines’ Youngest Programmer Isabel Sieh
If I were outside, you’d probably find me goofing around with other kids ‘till the sun sets without a care in the world. I may be in the engineering field now, but when I was a kid, math, and coding were the furthest things from my interests.
This girl from Antipolo City, Philippines however, is different. At the early age of 10, Isabel Sieh began to learn coding on her own.
“When I was around 10 years old, my teacher noticed that I really love math so he suggested that I start coding. He showed me this website called Code Academy,” Isabel Sieh said.
What’s more amazing about this young girl is that she didn’t just stop at learning, she also built her own company—Girls Will Code.
Girls Will Code
Isabel Sieh founded a company named Girls Will Code, a community of young girls who are interested in coding. The goal of Girls Will Code is to encourage young girls and to encourage schools to teach their students basic programming or make this an activity after school.
As Sieh continued to learn, she realized that she felt limited with what she was learning online. So when her supportive mother found about her daughter’s passion, she got her tutors to enhance her skills further.
According to Sieh, “When you’re in a community, it’s easier,” and so Sieh started Girls Will Code.
Sharing Her Passion at Schools
Source: Aika Rey, Rappler
On February 2016, Sieh shared her passion by teaching a group of 10 elementary students from an elementary school in the Philippines, Bagong Nayon 2 Elementary School, basic programming.
“It’s the same thing as language. As you learn early, you get really fluent,” Sieh explained.
Sieh used Scratch Jr. to teach the kids. Scratch Jr. is a programming language that was made specifically for young children (ages 5-7) wherein they can program their own interactive stories and games. By doing so, the children can easily learn to solve problems and design projects on the computer through code.
The students would snap together graphical programming blocks to perform specific tasks, like make the characters, jump, run, dance, as well as sing. At the end of the session, the students presented to the group their finished outputs.
This young girl, who is now 13, teaches us that it’s never too early, (or late) to learn new things and be good at it.