If you are following the news – be it online articles or traditional media – you are probably well-aware of the recent “everyone should learn to code” movement.
There has been a lot of discussion on the topic. Some people are convinced that we all should jump off our couches, immerse ourselves into the world of computers and learn to code. More and more people today equate coding with essential life skills. As Mark Surman, the Executive Director at Mozilla, says: “The web is becoming the world’s second language, and a vital 21st century skill — as important as reading, writing and arithmetics.”
However, some people reacted negatively to this idea emphasizing that coding isn’t for everyone and that this movement is just wrong. If you are interested to know more about it, you can read the following article at Coding Horror – Please Don’t Learn To Code.
This opinion is easy to understand. Programming is a difficult science. I think many would agree that quantum physics, molecular biology or why not decoding ancient languages is not for everyone. We are all different and have different abilities. Some are better in maths and physics while others are more creative or have outstanding communication skills. It is true that for some people coding would be more difficult to learn or understand. Nonetheless this doesn’t mean that they are completely incapable of building a website or programming a simple game. Not all of us had excellent marks in science classes. However, maths and physics are mandatory subjects in schools all over the world. We learned there how to count, developed our problem-solving and logic skills. So why can’t we all learn to code? It’s true that not all of the coding starters will become programmers. Maybe we won’t be able to solve complex problems and write long codes. But is it the aim?
I wouldn’t be very negative about the idea that we all should learn to code and look at it from a more optimistic point of view. When programming, you are looking for the most logic and direct solution to a problem. So even simple coding exercises help us to develop analytical skills and the sense of logic. Programming helps us to understand how computers and networks work. Having a basic understanding of programming also helps us fix some simple computer problems, saving both time and money. It also gives us a better understanding of what tech people are talking about so we can avoid this from happening:
I believe that times when we could afford to simply use computers and the web as it was offered to us, have passed. Technology evolves faster than ever before and in order to catch up with it, we have to learn more actively and improve our skills. Whether you want to accept it or not, the motto of today is “Program or be programmed“. Luckily, many newly established start-ups, but also well-known companies like Mozilla, Google and Microsoft, offer plenty of opportunities for you to learn some coding and web/game development easier than ever (you’ll find a bunch of great resources here!). Don’t miss this opportunity to become an active web user and take control of your computer!