Please don’t learn to code 

There’s an idea that’s been gaining ground in the tech community lately: Everyone should learn to code. But here’s the problem with that idea: Coding is not the new literacy.If you regularly pay attention to the cultural shenanigans of Silicon Valley, you’ve no doubt heard of the “Learn to Code” movement. Politicians, nonprofit organizations like Code.org and even former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City have evangelized what they view as a necessary skill for tomorrow’s workforce.There may be some truth to that, especially since the United States’ need for engineers shows no sign of slowing down.But the picture is more complicated.We live in an ultra-competitive world, with people turning to all sorts of methods to make ends meet. Selling coding as a ticket to economic salvation for the masses is dishonest.Take coding bootcamps. Since the mainstream learned of the success of Silicon Valley software engineers, everyone wants to own a startup or become an engineer. HBO’s Silicon Valley paints a picture of late twenty-somethings spending their nights coding and smoking weed, all whilst making millions of dollars. The American public is amazed by figures like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, who make millions seemingly overnight. Coding fever has even reached the steps of the White House, with President Obama pushing for legislation to include computer science in every public-school curriculum.Inexplicably, it is not just bootcamps and politicians encouraging people to learn to code.Individuals are actively encouraged to do so from all sides of society, from Hollywood to current tech luminaries. Despite this growing buzz, I view bootcamps with intense skepticism. While our culture tends to make Silicon Valley sexy, and glossy bootcamp brochures promise well-paying jobs, the truth is that many of these institutions are not accredited, do not post job statistics and do a poor job of ensuring their students’ post-bootcamp success. While many coding bootcamps are legitimate and care for their pupils, an even greater number are run by modern snake-oil salespeople tapping into the average American’s desperation.

Source: Please don’t learn to code | TechCrunch

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