(mostly a transcript of a comment I just posted)
Imagine if Mike Bloomberg, major of New York wanted to learn to play the guitar. To which guitarist guild would reply: "NO! Don't learn to code! There are millions of terrible guitar players, we don't need any more!".
Then Mike Bloomberg decided to learn astrophysics. To which Neil deGrasse Tyson would take offense. "Can you explain to me how Michael Bloomberg would be better at his day to day job of leading the largest city in the USA if he woke up one knowing the total mass of Andromeda?"
So, these thoughts sound nonsensical. Yet somehow, in regards to programming, they are not instantly nonsensical. At least not for many people. As coding Horror' post Don't learn to code and many of the comments placed in there would show.
The "everyone should learn to code" movement isn't just wrong because it falsely equates coding with essential life skills like reading, writing, and math"
Look, I love programming. I also believe programming is important … in the right context, for some people. But so are a lot of skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn programming than I would urge everyone to learn plumbing. That'd be ridiculous, right?
Which makes me wonder what is Jeff's problem with more people learning plumbing?
So, why not. If you want to learn plumbing why not. Worst case scenario, plumbing is not for you and you trying to learn it will make you figure that out.
Our schools teach us music, calculus, sports, chemistry and a lot of stuff that we won't necessarily use in our lives. So what? And again, What is wrong of learning for the sake of learning? That is part of what makes us human.
What Jeff is saying sounds to me like this: If more people learn to code, we will have more bad coders. Boohoo. Suddenly we are back to medieval time, and we are suddenly afraid of other people learning our precious knowledge, really? Is this much better than Pythagorean hiding the square root of 2 (Just been reading Carl Sagan lately, sorry).
Also, what is up with this?:
Please don't advocate learning to code just for the sake of learning how to code. Or worse, because of the fat paychecks. Instead, I humbly suggest that we spend our time learning how to:
- Research voraciously, and understand how the things around us work at a basic level.
- Communicate effectively with other human beings.
These are skills that extend far beyond mere coding and will help you in every aspect of your life.
Why not, if you want to, learn coding and also learn those things mentioned? I mean, it is not like we had to choose between the two. I see no issue with a human being learning all those things AND coding. If that is what she would like.
Rant: Just because industrial engineers exist, does not mean you shouldn't ever give carpentering a try. And in that regards, just because your job uses something as lovely and wonderful as programming as part of the million of times more ridiculous, silly and frustrating process that is making software for boring business, it does not mean that everyone else should be denied the joy of programming. There are a lot of ways amateur programming can work as an entertaining hobby that is outside of the lame thing that software development is. We got modding, the demo scene, scratch, algorithm contests, games.
More so, more programmers means not only more bad programmers, but also due to any law of proportion, more good programmers.