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Hollis Waite
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It's easy to setup straw men on either side of the debate. You're not saying that anyone should be computer illiterate while your detractors don't claim that everyone should write an OS. As you mention, 'coding' is tricky to define. Do Excel formulas count? How about simple MS Office scripting? I'm sure we'd all agree that everyone should learn basic skills that someone out there will call 'coding'. Regardless of where you draw the line, what I think you're missing is that programming skills are only becoming more important as time goes on. Minimal acceptable competence is not a static concept. Although the ability to read was once only of marginal importance, forward-thinking individuals realized that it's nigh impossible to err on the side of becoming too literate. While programming is not currently essential to a majority of occupations, it's difficult to predict what things will look like a few decades hence. Learning to program might not be worthwhile for Michael Bloomberg but I can't imagine not teaching a child born in this millenum. The 'plumbing' analogy really breaks down when applied to more widely used skills such as 'algebra'.
Toggle Commented May 29, 2012 on So You Want to be a Programmer at Coding Horror
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May 29, 2012