Monday, April 9, 2012

My Child Is Not A Computer Geek!

This will sound crazy, but I just realized about a week ago that my child is only adequate in computer usage. She can turn the computer on, launch her applications, use Word, PowerPoint, and the equivalent OpenOffice applications. She uses Firefox for the few websites she visits and can send email. She can put in a DVD to watch the Latin lesson for the week.  This is about it and it is perfectly acceptable for her needs.

However I keep reading about kids her age who write simple computer programs, build & program robots, and write games. Then there is the child we know that is only a couple years older than Amber and he is programming Java. This is wonderful for those kids and I am totally impressed.

Still, what shocked me is that neither Fred nor I ever even thought to work with Amber past the functional computer usage stage.

A little background might help put my shocking revelation into perspective. Fred and I met in college where we both majored in Computer Science. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in it, emphasizing in information security. I only have the bachelor's degree in Computer Science.  While Fred works in networking and security, I was a highly paid senior software developer before I finally quit to stay home with Amber full time. I can program just about any computer language and have written applications for so many platforms that I can't remember them all.

Given this information, it finally struck me how ironic it was that our only child shows no interest at all in anything other than functional computer usage. And honestly, if she could do everything on her iPod or my iPad then she would.
With this realization came the worry, are doing her a disservice by not teaching her more about the computer?  Amber has so many interests, yet she isn't even remotely interested in doing more with the computer.  Given the technological turn our world has taken, wouldn't it be to her advantage to learn more about computers and their workings, or at least more than how to do basic functions?  She has two parents who are very capable in the field of computer and technology, but we are sharing none of that knowledge with her.

After a good deal of stressing over something that probably should be a non-issue, I've we've decided to just leave it be for now.  If someday Amber is more interested in technology or has a need to know more
then I can go all geek on her and show her the ways of the software developer.  Right now it is Amber's time to pursue the things she finds interesting.


  1. One thing I'll add - I think by the time our daughters are older, if she is an adept tablet and mobile user, that's what'll matter. I don't think my daughter will use a "standard computer" much past high school, unless her job requires it!

    (I come out of a similar background, so I ALSO find this funny - I was programming in BASIC on my TRS-80 in third grade - am I old or what?)

  2. Heh, probably not as old as my daughter thinks I am ;)

    I must admit that at Amber's age I wasn't dreaming of computers or programming either. I was dreaming of stars. I was in astrophysics before computers.