New tech advice: don't learn to code


Jeff Atwood says "Please Don't Learn to Code," for a variety of reasons. Angry commentary erupted immediately.

Atwood's inciting incident was a tweet from New York City Mayor Bloomberg saying he planned to learned to code with Codeadacemy in 2012. PR for Codeyear, of course, but Atwood says not every person, like the Mayor, needs to program to do their job. In fact, too many programmers can't really program, so the world will not benefit from more mediocre coders.

Comparing learning programming to learning plumbing, Atwood links to Codeyear. Ridiculous for everyone to learn plumbing, and the same for programming? Perhaps "learning to code" as a way to better understand computers and the Internet, maybe, but that's as far as Atwood will go. Others disagree, many quite vehemently.

Wrong wrong wrong

I really, really disagree with Jeff Atwood here. Jeff has interpreted "learn to code" with "become a programmer".

jkahn on

Appropriately derisive of Atwood. It's just ridiculous.

Ironman Ninetytwo on

Very basic programming could (and should) be part of basic math education.

nadam on

I agree

I completely agree with you about my job not being about writing code, it's about solving problems, with some code.

NoNeeeed on

His actual argument is that the "everyone should learn programming" camp is wrong, it is not an opinion that no one can gain much from learning programming.

MortenK on


Critical thinking, problem analysis & solving, logic, etc. These are the skills the current generation of kids seem to be missing out on in their education

Richardathome on

this is why douglas rushkoff wrote "program or be programmed." as ralph nader said, "if you don't turn on to politics, politics will turn on you." the same applies to technology and technologists like atwood.

mobius1ski on

We don't teach people math and calculus so that they would crunch numbers, we teach them math so that they become SMARTER. Learning to code makes you smarter just as learning to read or count does.

_Nevermind on

With a couple of months of programming knowledge, I wrote a program that saved my company $2MM/year.

SatvikBeri on

Can anyone argue that doing something that will make the average person more logical and better able to solve problems is a bad thing? Or just argue that there are better ways to teach that than programming?

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