Mazzy has a new love in her life. It’s coding. It started when she took a stop motion animation course last summer and then blossomed this year, when we signed her up for an after school coding class. Now, instead of using her screen time to watch shows on YouTube, she wants to use her time to code. She does it mainly on a program called Scratch (I think she was introduced to it by her teacher in technology class), which allows her to make illustrations and then code them to talk and move.
So far, she has a built a potato that spins on an infinite loop, while saying “I am a potato” in all different voices, a Valentine from Mr. Egg (that’s her pet name for the Japanese cartoon Gudetama) and made a sketch about an evil piece of toast who kills an avocado to make himself into a piece of avocado toast. Cue evil laugh.
In fact, the other evening, Mazzy was begging me to use my laptop (we recently implemented a “no screen time” rule during the week) and her final argument was, “But mom! I want to practice for my job!”
Whoa. This stopped me. Mazzy has never ever talked about any career aspirations before, short of being an actress on Liv and Maddie.
I’ve been posting Mazzy’s coding creations on my Instagram stories (follow @mommyshorts if you want to see what Mazzy’s Evil Toast or Mr. Egg does next) which prompted a follower to send me the photo up top of 24-year-old Margaret Hamilton, one of the software engineers who coded the programming for Apollo 11, which put the first man on the moon in 1969. Hamilton was part of a team contracted by NASA and worked out of a lab at MIT. In 2016, President Obama awarded her with a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work.
HOW COOL IS THAT??? So many unsung female heroes in science.
I showed the pic to Mazzy and she thought it was awesome that coding played such a role in such a major historical moment. I mean, coding a cartoon egg to say “I love you” is pretty cool too, but this really opened up her mind to bigger possibilities. We started talking about all the other careers she could pursue with an education in code, like app development and video game design. Then I turned to Instagram to get some more ideas. I asked “what is an interesting job for someone who likes to code?” and so many of you answered with such great responses, I thought I would share a bunch of them here. You know, in case you have your own budding coder who would like some ideas for their future.
40 Potential Jobs for Kids Who Love Coding
1) Pixar Animator
2) Building robots, I know someone who programs underwater robots for ocean research
3) Weather forecaster
4) Programming light shows at concerts
5) Work in cyber security or doing something top secret for the FBI or CIA
6) Controlling space ships and satellites
7) Designing shoes
8) My friend studied coding and now runs the digital platform for all Macy’s logistics!
9) My niece is in coding and works for Etsy! They have the coolest office!
10) Work at Instagram or Facebook and change the algorithm!
11) Making literally anything on the internet! Every site or game Mazzy uses was built by a developer.
12) I’m a dentist working with coding!
13) I work in bioinformatic! Coding helps me find disease genes in DNA.
14) My brother-in-law codes for an online gambling company. He gets to work from home in his PJs!
15) My husband works on the Kindle team at Amazon!
16) UX designer— UX stands for user experience, which combines design, programming and human factors engineering
17) Developing software for self-driving cars!
18) I’m an Epidemiologist! We study public health problems to find the cause, ways to prevent diseases from spreading and treatment if an uptick in cases should arise.
19) Software engineers build the programs that run hospital systems and equipment
20) Making software and websites accessible for people with disabilities (deaf, blind, etc.)
21) Writing 3D printer code
22) I worked on software that allows non-profits to do online fundraising
23) She can work at Rent the Runway!
24) Work on the Netflix algorithm!
25) Ethical hacker! This is what my husband does. He tries to find ways to hack into companies to test their cybersecurity so that bad guys can’t. It’s also called White Hat Hacking.
26) My company has a coding team create virtual reality software to pair with guided meditations.
27) Neuroscientist! I write code to get data from MRI and fMRI images of people’s brains.
28) I work for the Department of Defense programming satellites!
29) Medical research! I work in psychology and we’re always looking for students with coding skills, especially in neuroscience.
30) I started by building video games and now I work at Google working on things like facial recognition and AI
31) Build skills for Alexa!
32) My husband worked at Spotify working on algorithms for playlists
33) You can use code to design amusement park rides and roller coasters!
34) Create CGI and special effects in movies!
35) Smaller scale automation software like Roombas
36) Mathematical modeling! My current job is to predict how much water the city of Atlanta will drink.
37) Work on futuristic tech like Microsoft’s Hololens. It’s a mixed reality headset.
38) My husband works doing coding for a recipe sharing app
38) My brother is a software architect. He builds the software for other people to make software.
39) Building flight simulators for airlines and helicopter pilots
40) She can teach code to the next generation of kids!
And lastly, my favorite response: “The entire world is made up of technology! Just pick whatever you’re interested in and there will be a job in that field that requires coding.” Seems like the opportunities are truly endless.
What coding job would excite your kids the most?