Jeff Atwood makes his point by saying, “Look, I believe programming is important… in the right context, for some people. But so are a lot of skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn programming that to learn plumbing. That’d be ridiculous, right?”
Please don’t learn to code.
This programmer takes a contrarian view and argues that most people shouldn’t learn to code and instead should focus on doing what they’re good at or what will help them be better at the job they’re supposed to do. My favorite point in Atwood’s post is what I talk to clients about on almost a daily basis: solutions first. In social media that could be followed by platforms, second. Atwood says solutions first, methods next. The point remains true, though: Figure out the problems you need to solve and what will help you solve them instead of jumping on the next big thing bandwagon.
John Naughton argues our kids will be ”hamsters for the glittering wheels of cages built by Mark Zuckerberg in his kind,” unless: “Starting in primary school, children from all backgrounds and every part of the UK [should] have the opportunity to: learn some of the key ideas of computer science; understand computational thinking; learn to program; and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence in these activities.” Also related: the above FastCo infographic looked to understand why we don’t have more female in tech. Their infographic showed that girls are typically smarter (& take more Math/Science classes) when they’re younger, but then tend to question their ability and change fields in college.
Learn to Code in 2012.
CodeAcademy is a free, interactive website which will teach you how to code. Each week, they send an email with a link to weekly exercises which you complete much like a typing game. The lessons themselves are game-like and almost addictive. I’m betting that by 2015, many grads will come out of school knowing how to code - Don’t get left behind!