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Computer book author and Web application developer Rogers Cadenhead
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"If coding was fun and easy, everyone would be doing it." Coding is fun and easy. I've been introducing beginners to Java with my Teach Yourself books for 15 years, and I hear from people all the time who took programming up for the first time with the language. I think Atwood's objections are bizarre. Everybody who has an urge to learn programming should try. Whether it's programming or any other difficult field, it is a good thing when people want to learn it. Even if they never get past the basics, increased technical literacy is a good thing. Atwood asks, "Have you researched the problem, and its possible solutions, deeply? Does coding solve that problem? Are you sure?" I ask, how are these people going to know whether coding can solve their problems if they never learn how to code? I'm glad this learn-to-code movement is springing up. Programming is a lucrative and valuable skill and some people will discover they have an aptitude for it -- and, even better, that they love doing it. Will everyone who dabbles in programming like Bloomberg or reads my 24 Hours books go on to become an expert coder working professionally in software development? No. But every great programmer started somewhere, and I can't find a single drawback to helping as many people as possible get that start.
Toggle Commented May 17, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
I think it's a mistake to view Osama bin Laden's goals as having anything to do with the domestic situation in the U.S. He didn't care about us that much, frankly. His goal was to start a war with the West that would usher in an Islamic caliphate across the Muslim world from Morocco to Pakistan. If he hurt us in the process, that was gravy. The Arab spring is showing that the people rejected him just as much as they rejected their despotic leaders.