Should everyone learn how to code?

Every job candidate knows the better their skills, the better the chance of getting a job; there has been an emphasis on the importance of children learning code so when they leave school, they have the advantage when it comes to forging a career.

However, is coding essential for everyone?

Schools in the UK have now introduced coding as part of lessons. At the centre of the recent drive towards teaching coding was the then education secretary Michael Gove who said in a speech at the BETT Conference that due to the changing nature of business, learning code would give children the best chance of finding a job in the future. However, opinions differ on how important learning code is and whether it is necessary for everyone.

The argument for

Zach Zims, the Co-founder of Codeacademy, has noticed a huge increase in demand from people keen to learn programming. In an article published on the Coca Cola website, he argues that due to 21stcentury technology, programming is essential for being able to compete in the modern job market.

Zims also states coding isn’t just essential to jobs or businesses in the technology industry, but coding can help employees to be more effective in other jobs such as journalism, where coding can be used to create stunning graphics and engaging readers.

The argument against

However, software developer Jeff Atwood considers the surge towards people learning to code and the emphasis on learning programming as a step backwards. He maintains people who enjoy coding, should stick to coding.

As Atwood explained to NPR,

“…When I hear: ‘Everyone must learn to program,’ what I hear is: We’re going back in time to a place where you have to be a programmer to do things on the computer.”

Atwood thinks it is a positive thing that people don’t need to program to be able to use a computer. However, he also states that with all of the resources available today, it has never been easier to learn and discover if coding is something you might enjoy.

Conclusion

Coding is now part of our everyday lives. It has opened up many job opportunities and as technology develops, it will open up even more in the future. However, it’s essential that individual candidates find a career they can enjoy and excel at.

If you would like to learn how to code, here are a few websites that can get you started (most of them are free):

  1. Codeacademy
  2. Code Avengers
  3. Girl Develop It
  4. Udacity
  5. Computer Clubhouse
  6. CoderDojo
  7. Code school
  8. Treehouse