Aug 22, 2017

9 min read

Hacking the youth: Why every kid should have a VPS

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Vippy The VPS
With my first kid on the way in November, I can't help but start to plan. It's in my nature—the more I feel like I have a handle on the future, the happier I am in the present. One of my first thoughts, when trying to plan this kid's life out by first picking their name, is that I would need to register their domain straightaway. I'm lucky to have a relatively uncommon last name, but I'd hate to bring a kid into this world who can't have the classic domain, no matter what it is they end up doing. With my mind on domains and websites, I couldn't help but wonder about whether my kid would eventually be interested in programming and development. I started looking into how—and when—it's good to introduce a kids to those concepts. Turns out I have quite a bit of time to straighten out my strategy. Even then, I started thinking more critically about the educational tools available to kids—what's good, what's bad, and what might still exist by the time my kid is old enough to understand—and I got to thinking: Isn't a VPS just a little digital sandbox? Or, even better: Why shouldn't every kid have a VPS to play around in? Mine certainly will. Here's why.

What sandboxes are there already?

A real sandbox
A real sandbox. Photo by Alexander Dummer/Unsplash.
When most parents look to point their kids toward learning programming, it's in one of a few different fashions. Science, STEM, and robotics clubs are abundant in many schools and communities, and offer youngsters the ability to problem-solve and actual build a physical object, whether it's a combat-ready robot or something a little more... practical. Online classes from Lynda, Tynker, Teaching Kids Programming, and others offer a guided experience with specific end goals in mind, such as creating small games or a simple website. The Raspberry PI is another recent and
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