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Is a Kid with Advanced Computer knowledge unusual?

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  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
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June 30, 2012 8:57:16 PM

My son is 12 years old, and acts way more mature then the average (no offense intended to anyone's child) 12 year old. He spends a lot of time talking to other teenage geeks around 14-17 years. He is very good in Graphic Design, Can build websites, well, his sites are WordPress and not the .com version, built a Home server, knows about Visual Basic .NET, Java, PHP, HTML, CSS and more. He knows a LOT. Is that unusual? Does anyone have a computer genius kid?

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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 9:06:55 PM

Hi :) 

Sorry but hes not that unusual....

I own several computer companies and I see and hear a lot of kids like that...but...

Talking is very different to doing or KNOWING...

And I would be a lot more impressed about his website building knowledge if he could WRITE it in HTML...not just use a program...

These days, children learn this stuff early, it doesnt mean I would ever employ them but if he continues to learn and gets a degree from University, then maybe :) 

All the best Brett :) 
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 9:22:40 PM

he would be unusual round here

half the teenagers round here cant even manage basic arithmetic unless they are allowed to use their

blackberry/iphone etc to do it

and think a pc is only for farcebook and messenger

so yes you should be proud of him
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June 30, 2012 9:59:32 PM

no idea i'm 17 (and i have not been so for long ^.^) and i can kinda write most of a website in just notepad++ i did once create sounds for an indie project that just stopped suddenly (but i managed to get most of our work downloaded before our file server went down so i am currently teaching my self code so i can get what i have working - the problem is is that the design team decided on xbox 360 controller due to the dual camera system and i do not have a wired xbox controller so its hard for me to test anything)
i can also build (and service etc) computers
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 10:04:32 PM

it can be pretty normal. when my cousins were young, they were introduced into basic site building through html(neopets does wonders when learning html at a young age =X). If a child gets interested in the kind of stuff, they are eventually probably going to head into the computer science major.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 10:50:26 PM

By the time I was in the 5th grade I was building PCs on my own. I started programming in the 7th grade and followed that with a Computer Engineering degree.

It is a little bit unusual but it is unusual in a good way. Most kids that age can't grasp advanced logic concepts. You really should be encouraging your kid to keep doing what he's doing, it's very very good.
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June 30, 2012 11:12:41 PM

Uncommon yes, unusual no.

Some kids mature faster than others and if that is his interest I would expect him to be knowledgeable. Kids are like sponges, they absorb a lot faster than us old gits.

By 2nd grade I was doing the school science fairs and beating the 5th & 6th graders. But then again I had a lot of books, read a lot and my projects were in things that interested me. By 5th grade I had access to a few CP/M machines and was programming by 6th grade in Basic & Pascal. Now I wasn't good at it and I used a lot of code from magazines / books but I could do very very simple stuff. I'd put that on par with your kid's webpage stuff. Cool, but not a miracle.

While my interests changed over the years, again and again, I was lucky to have a teacher for a parent who encouraged me and a blue collar parent who if I asked a question would have me find out myself, with a little help if I couldn't figure it out. Learning the answer is more important than the actual answer, in my opinion.

Keep encouraging the kid, even if his interests change.



And remember the most important job in the world is not "president", "doctor" or even "teacher" ... it's "good parent".


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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 11:14:30 PM

It really depends on there environment and what they find cool and fun. It might be "unusual" in the sense that those are not very common things kids are intrested in, but it is by no means the only case of a young kid intrested in technical related endevors.

Personally, when i was young i was a heavy gamer (mostly consoles) and this lead me to computer related activites as i started gaming on PC. I taught myself (though there is really no such thing as teaching yourself) about the hardware out at the time and as time passed and i kept reading and my depth of technical topics grew and is still growing today. Though i am a pretty big slacker, i am not the type who enjoys mathmatics and i didn't have mostly A's in high school, i just loved/love computers and gaming and that's all i every wanted to focus on in my life. Which can be both good and bad.

It's simply a matter of being intrested in something, you don't have to be a genius.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 30, 2012 11:46:41 PM

I helped my dad change my first motherboard before I was 8. By the time I was ten I could build a computer from scratch. (harder back then. Had to manually set your IRQ and DMA channels with jumpers or DIP switches.) Talk to 14-17? Most of my friends were grown up and married with kids. I entered my local JC when I was 16. I had to take their entrance exams because of my highschool not being "normal". Even though I hadn't finished my first year of HS algebra, I passed their hardest math exam. This put me right into transfer level classes. (Then it hit 25 and found beer. The rest (or you might say the past) is history...)

Using a program to code is nice, but the test is how well you code from scratch. There is an art to coding and if the program is doing it for you you might not be learning or know what you should. For example, the program won't teach you indenting or you might not even have the ability to comment. He might not even know what the words "parameter passing" even mean.

I don't mean to put the kid down. But as mentioned its not unheard of. I'd bet most of the regulars around here have stories similar to mine. Maybe he'll be "one of us" before you know it.
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July 1, 2012 12:25:21 AM

I was similar when I was around the age of your son, but those days things were much more difficult. Pretty much anyone can build a website, a server, now a days, as long as they have the drive and can read.

But your sons interest is definitely unique for the age, and you should definitely nurture it. I say get him to start playing with Linux (free on the internet) as well as get him into programming.

Also note that with the knowledge your son has he will likely end up finding the wrong parts of the internet for a kid that age so be careful of that.
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