Reading 14: Cause your friends don’t code and if they don’t code, well they’re no friends of mine

As part of the Computer Science 4 All movement, many states are making changes to include computer science classes as part of their curriculum.  This has become a polarizing topic for some.  The group in favor of more computer science education opportunities in schools argues that as the world becomes more technologically integrated, people should have a better understanding of how the devices we use everyday work.  Not only will this give everyday people an idea as to how their devices work, but it could inspire more kids to go into computer science, helping to fill the many computer science related jobs currently out there.

The other side of this argument is concerned about people getting into this field for the wrong reasons.  The article titled, “Please Don’t Learn To Code” talks about how the Silicon Valley lifestyle is overly glamorized.  And that if you did not get a traditional computer science degree, it is very hard to make that leap from learning to code to making money as a software programmer.  Their main concern is that this huge push to make everyone learn to code will not pay off.  My problem with this argument is that I really do not see how it could hurt to have kids take at least one programming class before leaving high school.  I was forced to take things like History, Biology, and English, so why not additionally have everyone take a coding class?  I’m not sure if taking a coding class before going to college would have affected me in any way, but it might have an impact on someone else.  I, for some reason, used to think “I don’t think computer science would interest me”.  But sometimes people just form these types of ideas and we get stuck in our ways.  If I had been forced to take a computer science class sooner, I would have had a very different opinion about it because I would have realized how much fun it is.  I do think that making programming more accessible to kids at younger grade levels is very important and is an initiative that schools should be taking.

Can anyone learn to program?  My first response to this is yes.  But, this may be because I already know how to program and it seems intuitive at this point.  But after spending a very long summer trying to help my mom through her company’s R Cloud optional training class, I realize that not everyone finds this skill as intuitive as I do.  Should everyone learn to program?  This question is a bit trickier.  What I do believe is that everyone that want to learn to code should have the opportunity to do so.  Additionally, everyone should have an understanding as to what it means to build and write code.  A lot of times people do not want to learn because they see learning to code as this huge impossible task.  But, if more people had an understanding of how coding really works, I think there would be a lot more people in computer science classes.