If you are a web developer parent, will you try to explain to your child your profession before he/she is old enough to understand computer science, e.g. via story-telling?

Or is it better to wait until he/she is old enough to teach them properly?

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    How young are we talking? What age do you consider "old enough to understand computer science"? – Acire Oct 24 '16 at 14:19
  • I am not very sure when children are old enough to be introduced to computer science properly, I am guessing 7+? Will any child be able to understand the actual process of web building before entering primary school??? – user24893 Oct 24 '16 at 14:32
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    I would keep it simple. Show her a webpage, and tell him that your job is building that page? – DrakaSAN Oct 24 '16 at 14:48
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    My friend is a web developer and his girls think he types in a text editor and prints out money – Dustin Hodges Oct 25 '16 at 14:55

As a web developer I put together a simple "Oregon Trail" style text game that would run on a basic web server and then had my kid play it.

Then as he was doing that I started adding thing (images, other responses, etc) and showed them how it changed as I added more logic and parameters.

It gave them a basic understanding of how development worked and how I could change things by changing the logic (e.g. changing the output of a random number from 50/50 odds to 60/40 odds to 80/20 odds).

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    Out of curiosity, how old was your child when you did this? (It's not the main question about, but OP seems interested based on the comments!) – Acire Oct 24 '16 at 15:03
  • Thank you! I am creating a children's story using visual metaphor to explain this topic, your answer has provided useful information for me. – user24893 Oct 24 '16 at 21:11
  • Your answer sounds very intriguing also it sounds like a very good method. – user24893 Oct 24 '16 at 21:12

I explained as soon as my kids were capable of asking, which for them was around age 5.

The explanation at that age was very simple: "I help put together web sites". I think I used Youtube as an example of a web site. I talked briefly about back end work versus front end work, since I do mostly back end work. The answer seemed to satisfy them.

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  • Thank you! I am creating a children's story using visual metaphor to explain this topic, your answer has provided useful information for me. – user24893 Oct 24 '16 at 21:10

When my child was 2, I made him a web page that ran only on our local machine. He loved to press buttons. When he ran the program, a big colored rectanglular mosaic would come up. There was a random photograph of him layered under the colored rectangle. Each time he pressed anything on the keyboard, a portion of the photo underlay would be revealed. Once the photograph was complete, he could press a key to play the game again.

Another program I made for him: press a key, and a random photograph of himself appears. Press a key, another photograph appears.

I told him I made the game. That was the two-year-old explanation of web developer.

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