"Learning to code has been trendy for a while. There are numerous free resources on the internet for those who want to teach themselves to program apps, robots etc. But why is everyone trying to convince us to learn how to code? Well, the reason is simple..."
We're reading today that Estonia is implementing a new education program that will have 100 percent of publicly educated students learning to write code.
Called ProgeTiiger, the new initiative aims to turn children from avid consumers of technology (which they naturally are; try giving a 5-year-old an iPad sometime) into developers of technology (which they are not; see downward-spiraling computer science university degree program enrollment stats).
ProgreTiiger education will start with students in the first grade, which starts around the age of 7 or 8 for Estonians. The compsci education will continue through a student’s final years of public school, around age 16. Teachers are being trained on the new skills, and private sector IT companies are also getting involved, which makes sense, given that these entities will likely end up being the long-term beneficiaries of a technologically literate populace.
The merits of literacy are self-evident to the point of no longer being questioned in society.
The very concept of reading and writing is a tenet of social compatibility for most cultures, having embedded itself into our social fabric to the degree where even debating whether “we should teach our kids how to read & write” is preposterous. But one doesn’t have to trace far back into our history before encountering an era where literacy was a rare skill for a very distinct minority.
The issue of literacy in most western countries today is focusing on the importance of teaching programming as a fundamental life skill for future economic gain.
There are hundreds of different programming languages, and they all make you type different things to get the same result. When you write your first program, it’s traditional to make the computer print “Hello world” on the screen – take a look at how you do it in these four different languages: C++, Ruby, PHP and Java.
Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. Whether you want to be a scientist, develop the latest killer application, or just know what it really means when someone says “the computer made a mistake”, studying computing will provide you with valuable knowledge.
To put it simply, the web is the future. If there’s one essential skill that employees will need to set themselves apart in the digital age, it’s a strong familiarity with the way the internet works and at least a basic understanding of web coding.
"Learning programming is not just an easy way to build your own creations and companies—it’s also one of the best routes to securing a high-paying job."
"Programming is incredibly vital to our twenty-first-century economy—and not just to programmers. Learning to code helps people build a deeper understanding of the world around them and can help them to automate and improve their daily lives. And it creates higher-level job opportunities for un- and underemployed young people, some of whom will go on to found their own companies, or work for companies (in every industry) that now rely on technology to move forward."
"Over the last few months I've seen more and more tweets and articles highlighting websites such as Codeacademy, encouraging people to learn to code, which is in itself, I believe, a good thing™. What I don't particularly agree with is the sentiment of some of the articles I've read, which seemingly suggest that learning to code will make you a bona-fide, professional software developer, and it's something that is easy to pick up. It isn't. Learning to program well takes perseverance, cursing, learning and above all, considerable amounts of practice — you will never stop learning, ever, but I can practically guarantee that if you catch the bug, you'll never want to stop. "
In my earlier post “Why creative people should study ICT” I compared programmers to artists. Today I found this video that illustrates this connection. You find the program here. With just two shapes (a square and a circle) you can create amazing art. However, this would not be possible without an equally amazing programmer. Creative, isn’t it?
Over the past months I’ve posted several posts focusing on coding, more specifically on how to learn to code. As you might have read, programmers are very wanted nowadays (just check out this article). There’s also been much debate about whether to start coding or not.
Anyway, today I found this image. And even if it’s admittedly already getting a bit old, I found it funny. But it also made me think: is this really what programmers think they actually do? Do they feel they’re just putting out fires? Is there any space for true creativity? What do you think?
Poor-quality training and 'sausage factory' courses leave companies struggling to recruit computer-literate workers.
Britain is facing a shortage of workers with programming skills, fuelled by poor-quality training courses in universities and colleges, which has left firms in fields ranging from advertising to Formula 1 struggling to recruit.
Leading companies interviewed for a new Guardian series say they require staff at a senior level to be computer literate, combining digital skills with the ability to lead a team. But they face delays in hiring the right staff, or have to give new employees extensive training because many computer science courses are nothing more than "sausage factories".
"For the past 6 weeks I have tried lots of different things to start learning to code.
At first I started with Codeacademy to get a basic understanding of html and css. That’s a great way to start out with I believe. At the same time, if you are trying to create a true habit around learning to code there was a slight problem: not having an actual project that you are working on can soon get you bored and drop off."
"Students outside of Raleigh, N.C., learned different programming languages to create their own apps in a largely independent but rigorous after-school program.
A growing number of after-school programs for boys and girls that draw on students' interest in applications for mobile devices are evolving throughout the country. Such programs can be a gateway to learning computer programming, as well as business and marketing lessons, which educators believe equip students with lifelong skills to succeed in college and the workforce."
"My adventures in programming began in the Fall of 2011 when I took Nancy McCracken’s IST 256: Application Programming for Information Systems course. I was almost instantaneously hooked. I had taken only a handful of School of Information Studies courses at that point and had yet to find a concentration area that truly clicked. I liked networks, but I didn’t love them. I liked systems administration, but I still longed for the feeling that I had built something on my own—without Active Directory’s help. I began to believe that programming could be my niche after finishing my first project and not only enjoying it, but wanting more."
"I may not be a great programmer, but I have a ton of fun programming. As a self-taught hacker, I've always enjoyed programming to a great extent--but everyone has their ups and downs. These are simply my reflections about what makes me happy while programming, and serves as reminder to myself why I should keep pushing onwards!"
"Web development with Java, it is actually easier than it sounds. So easy, in fact, that an absolute beginner in computer programming can get the hang of it in a couple of days. This is all thanks to the various guides and books about the subject of web development with Java."
"My focus these past few months has been to learn both Ruby and Rails as my first ‘true’ programming language/framework. Rails itself is notoriously-not-so beginner friendly, so here I share some of the things I picked up along the way…"