Sydney web developer Ei Sabai Nyo spent up to 6 hours a day coding while she was on maternity leave, with baby Mia on her lap.
Now 17 months old, Mia is extraordinarily fond of her iPad and HTML tags.
One of her favourite activities is flipping through a colourful book titled “HTML For Babies”, pointing at various tags that she might have seen on her mother’s computer screen.
“She’s not a genius or anything; she’s just exposed to [code] a lot more,” Nyo told Business Insider.
“She likes to look at what I’m doing and is very interested in websites, because they are always on my screen, but she can’t speak yet, so I can’t ask her how much she understands.”
Nyo didn’t expect Mia to be so interested in coding. The HTML textbook was a present from her Online Shopping USA co-founder James Harris: a joke about how much Nyo liked to code.
“We have Snow White, Cinderella … I read those to [Mia] sometimes but she seems to get bored,” Nyo says.
“She always picks this one [HTML For Babies]. It’s got img, p and span tags in colourful and different fonts, and she likes pointing at them.
“Sometimes I sing to her [from the book]: ‘Img is for image tags. Bold is to make something look strong.'”
About 5 months ago, when Mia turned one, Nyo bought her an iPad.
She taps and swipes with ease, and particularly likes an application that looks and sounds like a telephone key pad so that she can imitate her mum – without actually making any calls.
“She knows how to use the iPad really well,” Nyo says. “I didn’t want to give it to her while she was too young.
“She uses the iPad and tries to imitate what I’m doing. She presses the keys. It’s quite cute.”
Nyo returned to full-time work late last year. Mia attends day care on weekdays.
Mother and daughter still bond over HTML on some nights and weekends, when Nyo works on web development projects at home.
Despite baby Mia’s current habits, Nyo says she isn’t encouraging her towards any particular career.
“I just want her to do whatever she wants to do,” she says.
“Maybe machines would have advanced enough that we won’t need as many coders when she’s 20.”
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