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I take the point that it's not inherently a net positive. But it's also not inherently a net negative. I don't think the movement is about everyone learning to code so they can get a job coding. It's about learning to code so you have SOME understanding of what is going on with these things that so define every aspect of our lives. I don't need to know the general details of how an internal combustion engine works, and how the car system as a whole is put together. But I personally do (even though I'm not a mechanic and have no plans to become one) because it does benefit me in certain situations. Understanding the world and around you and more importantly, the machines and systems that enable your life IS a useful skill. With the car example, I can do some of the work my self, which is faster and cheaper. And I can begin at least initial diagnostics my self to know when my car needs professional help. And when I do get professional help, having some knowledge about cars helps me not get ripped off. The same goes for general programming knowledge. There are tasks that can be automated, bug in existing products that can be understood, and even worked around, if the user has some cursory knowledge of programming. I do think everyone should get some understanding of programming because it underpins so much of what they do every day. Just as I think everyone who owns and drives a car should have some basic understanding of how it works, so they can be responsible owners.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
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May 15, 2012