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How to prepare your kid for a code-a-thon

By Dhrubaa Ghosh,

Coding courses are hot favourites among students. Prepare your child for coding competitions.

Prepare your child for the time-bound, highly competitive environment of a code-a-thon.

Hindustan Times had organised a unique initiative for the students last year to help them learn and create codes. Known as HT Code-a-thon, this coding Olympiad was a grand success. Apart from the attractive prizes, it was a fun learning experience for participants complete with hands-on video and text modules, quizzes, and of course, a competition to build a website, app or game.  The second edition of HT Code-a-thon kicked off on August 31.

"HT Code-a-thon reaches young students across the country with a mission of encouraging them to learn coding and build interest in the subject at the right age. However, coding is more than just a technique or a subject. It is fast evolving into the chosen approach for problem solving right from school age and needs to be encouraged at every level of learning. Code-a-thon is a powerful mission in that direction," says Vivek Varshney, Founder, SpeEdLabs, an AI-based practice and learning platform. They have have partnered with Hindustan Times for HT Code-a-thon 2021.

A code-a-thon not only prepares your kids for the highly competitive and prospective career options available in the arena of computer programming but also helps boost a plethora of cognitive skills like creativity, problem solving, acumen for analysis, etc. A coding Olympiad like HT Code-a-thon is a very good stepping stone for future coders.

But how can you prepare your child for the time-bound, highly competitive environment of a code-a-thon, even if it is virtual? Here are some useful tips. 

Update the computer  
There’s nothing worse than sitting down alone or with a newly formed virtual team ready to write some code, switching the laptop on, and being greeted with commands to install updates. Make sure your device is as updated as your kid.  

Install the right software  
If you have a rough idea of what your child is going to be doing at the competition (coding, graphic design etc), make sure you have the right tools before-hand. Talk to your kid and complete all software installs.  

Encourage your kids to practise regularly 
If you want your child to be a top performer, he or she will need to think on the run, be software-fluent, and have exposure to examples of coding. Daily practice is unavoidable.   

Focus on ideation  
Your child probably already has an idea in mind, or may come up with a brainwave while planning with team mates. On your end, ensure your kid maintains a record of these ideas. It might be as basic as saving it as a document or an email draft, or a full, elaborate rough code. But unless it’s planned and saved, there is little time to think on one’s feet while the event goes on.  

Make sure that they eat and sleep well  
A code-a-thon often has back-to-back sessions, team discussions late into the night, and free practice opportunities that cannot be missed. Make sure your child is physically fit, fresh from a good night’s sleep, with a healthy but light meal before starting out. 

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