Not Every American Needs to Learn How to Code

Let’s make sure our citizens are literate first and capable of doing basic math before we try to sell the next “American Dream” as being a app maker to our kids.

I love coding. I loved when my students were interested in coding as a middle school teacher. However, I made it clear to them that while hard work will get you halfway there, there’s a lot of persistence, skill and luck involved in developing the next Angry Birds.

While we realize the hard work involved in something insanely complicated like electrical wiring, we tend to gloss over the difficulties involved in computer science careers because “it’s just computers” and not a physical thing that you have “to do” in order to see results.

Code is only the latest in the classic American / Horatio Alger dream that hard work and the right education will by the golden key that ensures everyone has a job. Go west, get a farm. Learn chemistry. Become a mechanic. Learn how to fix computers. So on and so on and so on. Now: Learn to code! It fits very nicely with the current disruption/app/techie focus of the economy and suggests that the companies and donors that comprise it are necessarily the country’s future. They’re not.

via No, Mr. President, Not Everyone Needs to Learn How to Code – The Wire.

Edit: Dave Winer has a great post on this as well:

Bottom-line: In all likelihood, coding will NOT make you rich. So you’d better have another reason for wanting to do it, because it’s not easy.

Like blogging, coding isn’t easy and probably won’t make you rich!

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