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I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person who strongly disagrees with you on this one. Comparing programming to plumbing as a specific, special-purpose skill of little relevance to "the common man" seems quite frankly dishonest. Somehow, you've produced a division between fundamental skills that everyone should have (basic maths, reading and writing) and very specific, non-transferable skills (plumbing, lawyering, programming). Placing programming into the latter set is utterly bogus. To me, programming is a cousin of maths, engineering and writing. Not only can it help think in new ways and solve problems in a more structured way, but it can be used to help in practically any domain you like. Including plumbing. You say: "It puts the method before the problem. Before you go rushing out to learn to code, figure out what your problem actually is. Do you even have a problem?" What better way to learn how to do this than by learning programming? Isn't that pretty much what it's all about - think, figure out what the problem was, and what possible solutions you could create? And if that's too difficult up front, to explore the problem and solution through testing and thinking as you go? If your program solves the problem, your tests demonstrate it, and if not, then you keep working. Isn't that a fantastic way to learn how to understand and solve all sorts of problems?
Toggle Commented May 21, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
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Apr 21, 2012