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Programming Education Government United Kingdom IT Science Technology

Jason Bradbury Believes Coding Lessons In Schools Are a Waste of Time (trustedreviews.com) 281

An anonymous reader writes: Famous TV personality Jason Bradbury, who hosts The Gadget Show, believes that the UK government is wasting its time trying to teach kids learn how to code. In a recent interview, he said, 'My kids won't need to code because soon computers will just code for them. I fundamentally disagree with the government initiatives to get my kids coding. It's a complete waste of time. Soon startups will just be run by really creative people -- there won't be a coder with bad social skills stood on the stage. The future will just be about being creative. This is why we need to challenge STEM and introduce an art component and rename it STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art and maths."
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Jason Bradbury Believes Coding Lessons In Schools Are a Waste of Time

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  • or (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:04PM (#51769081)
    Stop This Everybody Must...stuff
    • Most Should... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:37PM (#51769479)

      Stop This Everybody Must...stuff

      It's not that everybody must, it's that most should.

      A lot of people are really unfathomably stupid. And they could increase their intelligence by probably an order of magnitude if they internalized a few important additional mental patterns. One of those is if-then statements.

      If A then B. If C then not D. Just the idea of reacting intelligently, of planning ahead a little bit and choosing an action based on what happens, rather than intuiting your way through life.

      Of course almost nobody is going to do that all the time, and that's good because habits and ignorance save a lot of time and can make life much more practical. But people should have the chance to learn.

      • by Shoten ( 260439 )

        Stop This Everybody Must...stuff

        It's not that everybody must, it's that most should.

        A lot of people are really unfathomably stupid. And they could increase their intelligence by probably an order of magnitude if they internalized a few important additional mental patterns. One of those is if-then statements.

        If A then B. If C then not D. Just the idea of reacting intelligently, of planning ahead a little bit and choosing an action based on what happens, rather than intuiting your way through life.

        Of course almost nobody is going to do that all the time, and that's good because habits and ignorance save a lot of time and can make life much more practical. But people should have the chance to learn.

        Whether you say "must" or "should" doesn't matter. Most either "must not" or "should not."

        The problem, as I see it, is that people who are themselves not enormously computer-literate are imagining what would make them so, and then foisting it upon others. There's a lot of things that should be taught about computer science: basic communications, architecture from a high level (database, application server, web server, browser), and the parts of a computer. This is analogous to how in driver's ed we learn

        • But teaching to code is like that driver's ed class teaching metallurgy or weight engineering; just as neither of those skills are necessary for a driver, learning to code has no real benefit to the average computer user.

          Most STEM stuff I see (in grade school at least ) is more about teaching kids to think and how the world works than teaching them to code. They use stuff like snap circuits, lego mindstorm, littlebits, scratch, and tinkercad. In lego mindstorm, it's less about programming and more about solving how to use a few simple instructions and a few simple legos to accomplish a simple task. With snap circuits and littlebits, it's about explaining what makes the modern world tick and again, solving simple problems

    • Re:or (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:54PM (#51769691)

      I especially disagree with his opinion about art. I could see a practical art, maybe, but most of the art scene in big cities sucks. I have had a lot of exposure to it because my sister is really into it (and is one of said artists.) I have attended the shows and other stuff she hosts, and am around lots of other artists that come to these things, and one thing I've observed is that basically nobody comes to these artsy events/shows unless they themselves are an artist, and even then they're mostly just there to support their fellow artists. While the later is applaudable I guess, I can't help but observe that this business model just doesn't work very well, and explains why most of them are poor.

      Before I say what comes next, I need to draw an analogy. Presently most lawyers are grossly underemployed, and there's a simple reason for this: There's an economic need for about 7,000 new lawyers per year, yet our universities are pumping out 40,000 new lawyers per year.

      Under the same vein, and while I don't have any numbers to show, I suspect that universities are also pushing out too many new arts (and liberal arts) graduates per year. That is, we have more professional artists than there's an actual demand for. Another thing I've observed is that if you aren't very obviously talented early on in life, then a college probably isn't going to change that. Thus I think adding "arts" in the same vein as STEM careers is probably not a good idea.

      As for his prediction of the future, let's wait and see what exactly AI can code before we start asking a lot of new college graduates (presumably with their big student loans) to become the founders of new tech startups and go even further into debt.

      • There's an economic need for about 7,000 new lawyers per year, yet our universities are pumping out 40,000 new lawyers per year.

        If only there was a way to increase the number of lawyers needed. Sounds like maybe something the government could help with, they're all lawyers.

  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:04PM (#51769083)

    Are a bunch of disaffected youths, wearing disheveled 2nd hand clothes, razor hair cuts, smoking their hacked e-cigs, putting safety pins in their leather jacket lapels.. standing around.. looking like a bunch of punks.. a bunch of STEAM punks.

  • by clifwlkr ( 614327 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:06PM (#51769097)
    I don't totally disagree with this statement. I got into coding many years ago because I loved solving problems, and used a scientific approach to doing just that. Teaching the languages of coding just to move something around on the screen is pretty pointless. It seems many of the 'coding' classes in schools do just that.

    Using coding, however, as a broader set of methodologies to teaching problem solving and how you break it down and arrive at a solution IS a good thing. This will prepare our kids for the future no matter what it brings as they will then know how to approach a problem and solve it. That is what I find lacking in the newer grads I work with today.

    There are many tools, techniques, and ways to make that fun and interesting for children and I wish we would change the focus to address that and stop focusing on just coding. A programmer without problem solving abilities is like a writer with perfect grammar, but nothing to say.
    • by dav1dc ( 2662425 )

      I tend to agree - file this under "too little, too late"

      By the time these kids grow up and enter the job market, the practical aspect of what they are being taught today will likely be obsolete.
      Public education simply can't keep pace with the rate at which technology advances and changes.

      I'm even more worried about the effect that _FORCING_ computer science on kids in schools will have on their choice to enter the field.

      Ex: I reside in Canada where I was forced to take French from grades 4-9
      To this day I do

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I do not program computers for a living. I do, however, have to figure out how to do a lot of things and often that entails using tools like spreadsheets. Having computer programming training is incredibly helpful when it comes to creating tools that help me accomplish the calculations that I need to perform.

        Figuring out how to do multiple test-cases and to do particular math operations based on those test cases is a programming-style task. Coming up with =IF(ISBLANK($C6),IF(ISBLANK($C5),"",IF(ISBLANK
        • Figuring out how to do multiple test-cases and to do particular math operations based on those test cases is a programming-style task. Coming up with =IF(ISBLANK($C6),IF(ISBLANK($C5),"",IF(ISBLANK($C6),SUMIFS(E$4:E$44,$A$4:$A$44,$A5))),((INDEX($Equip.D$4:D$100,MATCH($C6,$Equip.$C$4:$C$100,0)))*$B6)) without some programming ability would be much more difficult.

          So what you're really pointing out is that primary school computer programming classes need only consist of one lesson:

          "Don't freakin' use Excel ever ever EVER to do anything with numbers!"

          What you wrote there would take about half the character count in R or Matlab, and you'd only have to write (and proofread) it once, not 10thousand times in 10thousand different cells.

          • Except, some of us will never get permission to use R or Matlab in a work environment... And the customer surely would not want to pay for it on their server or client computers.

            I hate it, with a passion... but I have frequently seen programs built in C# as stand-alone executables with a config file converted into VBA in an Excel sheet so that it can run on client machines without that scary install called ".NET framework".

            Writing a program for turning a rs232 sniffer-file into human readable text is annoyi

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      a writer with perfect grammar, but nothing to say

      Otherwise known as Grammar Nazis in middle school. Needless to say, I learned neither English nor grammar from them. I had wonderful college instructor who didn't upbraid me for explaining that a particular grammar example "felt right" because I didn't know and couldn't explain the rulebook definition.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:18PM (#51769261)
      Teach kids how to do algebra, teach them history, how to write poetry, how to play a musical instrument, how to code, how to speak in front of a group of people. They'll self-select into something they enjoy and/or are good at.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nmr_andrew ( 1997772 )
        I pretty much agree, but most of that list (except MAYBE algebra, and there was a story just a couple of weeks ago about how we should stop teaching that) won't help them get a high score on a standardized test, and therefore isn't considered at all "important" in the current climate *sigh*
    • Not only that, we need to stop thinking of school as a place to learn job skills. Until college school needs to be about exposing kids to all kinds of information so they can discover what drives their passions and move into a career driven field of study. Kids have to learn all sorts of 'useless' things in school for that very reason. How many high school kids will ever use calc or physics in their careers? That said without those classes the people who do need those skills would have never discovered a pa

      • Until college school needs to be about [...]

        You're wrong. For a college (of quality), its about basic preparation of candidates for a career in academia. What is the point in correcting what primary education should be, and not realize your perception of secondary eduction is just as flawed.

        • I think you misinterpret my intent. While college is still about general education and preparation it typically has a much more narrow field of study focused on a career path. For example while working towards a MIS degree the majority of my studies were focused on the purpose of the major. This major was selected because my primary career goal was a technology job.

          Prior to this selection of focus education needs to be about a wide variety of experience to allow a student to have the chance to truly know wh

    • Real world problem solving is important, especially as a way to motivate learning. I often illustrate factorisation (and distributivity) with a shopping example:

      You want cornflakes for breakfast. So, each day you:
      1) Go to the shop
      2) Buy milk
      3) Go home again
      4) Go to the shop
      5) Buy cornflakes
      6) Go home again
      7) Go to the shop
      8) Buy sugar
      9) Go home again
      10) Eat cornflakes

      I then point out that nobody would do this, one sensible improvement being:
      1) Go to the shop
      2) Buy milk, sugar and cornflakes (in one transact

  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:06PM (#51769105) Homepage

    My kids won't need to code because soon computers will just code for them.

    The 1980's called and want their software back.

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:18PM (#51769251)

      20 years ago my computer science prof used this to explain why I should stay for my PhD rather than get a job doing real work (which at the time, was paying really, really well). If anything there is less effort in AI now than there was then, I've seen no attempts at self-programming computers yet, just languages with higher and higher levels of abstraction that take care of some messy details for you (with extreme limitations).

      Meanwhile, I'm not sure why "creative people" is mutually exclusive with STEM, you don't need the 'A' to be creative. I associate the 'A' with technical skills in the fine arts, performing arts or academic skills in art history, literature, anthropology, etc.. You can be incredibly uncreative in any of those fields too (and still be successful), but have an excellent grasp of the skills. See the story about the Chinese village dedicated to copying artwork: high artistic skill, 0 creativity. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2375270/Dafen-Oil-Painting-Village-thousands-artists-recreate-paintings-sale-overseas.html, although there was one yesterday I can't find as well).

      Creativity is orthogonal to the canvas you choose to work with. Coding skills however are very likely to enable you in any chosen profession, even if you do not do it professionally. I cannot count how many times in life some very simple thing did not exist because "we don't have a coder free". Sometimes that thing was just sending out an email periodically, or pulling stuff from a db into a spreadsheet in a particular way. There's no reason why everyone can't do things like that for themselves, except the lack of training and the belief that it is somehow hard.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        20 years ago my computer science prof used this to explain why I should stay for my PhD rather than get a job doing real work (which at the time, was paying really, really well).

        My college computer instructor in the early 1990's told the class that 4GB RAM was all anyone needed in the future. Back then, 4MB RAM was a big deal. For the most part, he was correct. My current gaming PC had 4GB RAM since 2007. I'll probably go with 16GB or 32GB in the next rebuild.

        I associate the 'A' with technical skills in the fine arts, performing arts or academic skills in art history, literature, anthropology, etc.

        These days it better to be a 'C' (corporate) person who hires 'B' people for management and 'A' people for engineering. You want to own the corporate ladder rather than be owned by the corporate ladder.

        • A gaming machine is a want not a need ;).

          And it depends on the type of problems you are trying to solve, Any embedded control not requiring vision, you are safe under 1GHz. Simulation (of which games are a class of) can use as much as you have. The rule of thumb that we learned in EE computer design class was 1B ~= 1Hz.

        • I think you just invented the STEAM CAB...
      • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

        I've seen no attempts at self-programming computers yet,

        I was thinking other day whenever I see someone doing ***real*** programming, they are writing text just like was done in 1980s. The difference is they are using a keyboard that is lower profile and the screen is flat. Other than that it's straight text. Last week I talked with this guy banging out code in text on his linux laptop, it must have been because it had a penguin sticker (also an EFF sticker), I asked why is coding still done in text (I kind knew this already). He said GUIs are dynamic, when wri

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Yip, we'll probably see flying cars before self-programming computers or practical DIY coding.

      I've worked with roll-your-own code from those who master spreadsheet macros/scripting enough to automate their stuff BUT have no experience with maintenance issues, and maintenance is the biggest cost of software, not creation. Their code is messy and poorly factored. They move on and leave us holding their pasta bag.

      It may be okay for automating your own personal tasks, but any larger-scale data sharing should in

  • by ardmhacha ( 192482 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:08PM (#51769119)

    "My kids won't need to code because soon computers will just code for them"

    Computers already do this. You used to have to code by manually entering the 1s and 0s but now there are things called compilers which actually do the coding for you. All you have to do is write some simple instructions saying what you want the computer to do and the compiler does the coding for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:09PM (#51769127)

    Creative people are overrated. It takes sober, well trained engineers to produce safe, reliable, electromechanical products, drugs, chemicals, etc. Try telling an FDA or FAA auditor that they "just don't get it."

  • AI writing code for us? What could possibly go wrong?

    https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      AI writing code for us? What could possibly go wrong?

      Bloated code like the old HTML editors used to produce in late 1990's. My first job as a Software QA tester was to fix the HTML code that Dreamweaver produced when the picture perfect table goes FUBAR and the web designer had a hissy-fit. I still prefer using a text editor for HTML code.

      • And you stayed in the business rather than becoming a tour guide or a plumber? I'd have bitten my fingers off.

        I did it once[1], for an hour, on a training course. That was back when most HTML was written by hand (and I can see why).

        Kudos for your staying power.

        [1] Hand cleaning HTML, not cannibalism.

  • by mrthoughtful ( 466814 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:10PM (#51769147) Journal

    Anyone who has written assembler knows that modern static analysis and optimising compilers will write far better code than the average assembler programmer; most chips expect hinting and other flags which are not really part of a human activity. Everything else is just assist.

    So the creativity element of programming is still very human driven. It will be for a long, long time. But the mechanics of software programming has become increasingly invisible to the programmer.

    As another person says (as if it wasn't just a cheap media-whoring attention-grab) - what a twat.

    • Anyone who has written assembler knows that modern static analysis and optimising compilers will write far better code than the average assembler programmer, most chips expect hinting and other flags which are not really part of a human activity.

      Lol... "hinting and other flags" is proof that you are talking straight out your ass right now. You clearly dont know anything about assembler for either x86 or ARM.

      What you did was take a bit of buzz-like words and put them into a sentence. Sure, the x86 has a flags register, but what the hell are YOU talking about? The x86 also has some hinting instructions, which have been ignored by the CPU for about 6 generations of chips now, so what the hell are YOU talking about?

      How come its always someone like

      • The term "flag" in English has the generic definition of an artifact placed specifically as an indicator to modify the procedural strategy in process. Literal flags mark hazards and approved paths; conceptual flags include highlights and emphasis in text, markers on e-mails which need revisiting, compiler hints (e.g. likely() unlikely()), and CPU instruction code hints (branch prediction hints, prefetch/non-prefetch instructions, and so forth).

        Modern branch predictors are highly complex; compilers rely

      • Actually no. You are right though - I've never coded assembler on either x86 or ARM. However, I have coded for Z80, 68000, PowerPC 601, PIC, and AMTEL chips.
        I was referring primarily to branch-prediction and other instruction hints. They were pretty modern by the time I left commercial assembler coding. But I'm not too surprised if they are no longer used. I'm just older than you. That's all.

        However, and this was my point regardless of your flame, you would be a total fool to attempt to write a modern op

    • by jetkust ( 596906 )
      Explain to me what assembly language has to do with anything... Are they teaching kids assembly language? Machine language? Or are they teaching kids high-level language, which last time I checked still requires human involvement. It sounds like you are disagreeing with something but are really just chiming in with information that has nothing to do with the topic. Even if we spoke in plain English to a computer and it "wrote" the code, we are still, you know, programming the computer. It doesn't matte
      • Actually, I probably could explain that to you. But I won't, because I really only write comments for the reason that my sig. says. Have an ostre egg on me though.

  • Most 'creative' people, just found an excuse for smoking pot all day and doing nothing.

    Which isn't to say that 'creative' isn't a real thing. Just that those who use the term to self describe are fucking useless.

    Coding is supposed to go away every 10 years or so, I was first aware of it 3 cycles ago. Coding tools are generally getting better, than there is Javascript.

    The problem is analyzing a problem isn't the kind of thing most creative people are any good at. Once you understand the problem the co

  • Jason Bradbury (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:12PM (#51769173) Homepage

    Who?

    Oh that cock who has no idea how to sell or test gadgets and hosts a program where they show them on a screen for a fraction of a second without showing you anything useful or discussing a single down-side?

    And who - it appears - has no actual qualifications (besides a pilot licence) listed anywhere that would suggest anything "gadgety" in his background?

    Sorry, but he's an author / TV presenter. I've yet to see any qualification beyond that that gives him any say in education or coding at all.

    And the number of times I've cringed at things he's said/done on that program, I couldn't count. Last time I saw it, he was screaming like a little girl because some $2000 remote control car he was controlling nearly spun out of control because he "forgot to steer".

    Don't even get me started on the crap they recommend on that show. It's basically a 30-minute advert for 50 products and then a "competition" at the end to win them all.

  • Why should coding lessons be any different? When you try to teach everyone a broad but shallow set of knowledge, it's a good way to maximize the total amount of wasted time.

  • Math, art, language, history, writing... Coding will follow on it's own if kids have a math, science, and logic background, if they are inclined towards code. Beyond the fact that code is a logical follow on from math and logic, I'm afraid that redirecting the efforts and finances of the schools towards yet another diversion will dilute the quality of education further. The money that could go towards code teaching should buy better math teaching before all, and better science too.
    • I do not know about you, but one of my main grumps while in school was the dry non-interactive way everything was taught.
      Doing something where you use what you've learned in other classes to have something 'do' something was fun for me at least.

      Middle-school in Norway has "Technology and Design" as a class. One thing they did was design a miniature house (think doll-house sized open-sided) where they built furniture and various 'innards'. As part of this design process they put in electric wiring and switch

  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:20PM (#51769269)

    He's right that teaching every kid coding is a waste of time. Not because coders will become obsolete (who will write the code that writes code for everyone else?), but because not everyone has interest in or the proclivity for coding.

    Governments didn't scramble to teach every kid electronics from 1930-1970, nor did they scramble to teach every kid auto mechanics from 1950-1980. Education programs have enough trouble teaching kids math and critical thinking, how the hell are they going to wrap their heads around programming?

    By his logic, kids shouldn't be taught anything because soon enough technology will do everything for them.

    • Teaching game programming is a fun way to learn math and critical thinking.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Most people never need to do math more sophisticated than multiplication nor write an essay on Shakespeare yet those are taught. Ultimately the goal shouldn't be to make everyone a developer, but software is ever present and many non-menial jobs require people to dabble a little, e.g. excel, sciences, etc. so understanding the basics can only enable people.
    • He's right that teaching every kid coding is a waste of time. Not because coders will become obsolete (who will write the code that writes code for everyone else?), but because not everyone has interest in or the proclivity for coding.

      Actually, I simultaneously agree and disagree with this statement. In the sense that teaching kids to code in say, Javascript as a job skill, I agree wholeheartedly.

      In the sense that learning to code teaches a bunch of other important skills I disagree. Learning to code is an excellent way to learn general problem-solving skills, and also how to coherently communicate complex ideas.

      Although probably the most important life skill that can be taught by learning to code is that all programs have bugs. And t

  • Was playing with drag and drop coding environments in the 90s with the promise they would eliminate coding. Nearly 20 years later there really isn't any such thing except for some specialized tasks. This makes me a bit skeptical that computers will replace programmers any time soon.
  • I really will like to grab IBM Watson and tell him to code me an OS/2 Warp clone :) For the moment I'm just documentating the architecture on EDM/2 and storing OS/2 projects code on Github. http://www.github.com/os2world [github.com]
  • The show is billed as a "... put(ing) the latest consumer gadgets through their paces." They are all about consummation and not producing anything and likely have no idea how things are really made nor do they apparently care. The statement that computers will "just code for them" illustrates the lack of understanding. How do they think computers get coded to be able to code for you?
  • This is the third time I've heard about STEAM in the last two days. Why a new buzzword?

    Once we add "arts" shouldn't we just call it "education"?

    Are we in such strange times that a standard, well-rounded education is now "innovated"?

    Jesus wept.

  • by clickety6 ( 141178 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:31PM (#51769409)

    >> "Bradbury went on to describe the SAM Labs system as âoea perfect example of this prediction that coding will not exist in the future."

    >> "I bought a big box of SAM Labs kit. My kids can come in here and decide to make a device where if my son squeezes his teddy he will send me a tweet to say, 'I love you.' Or if you walk through a laser tripwire it will set off an alarm. It interacts with actual hardware, actual code and all it requires is a squeeze, a drag-and-drop and a little imagination."

    So that's how we will all be coding the complex software that controls our aircraft and nuclear power plants in the future.

    "The reactor is going into meltdown"

    "Quick, squeeze the teddy bear and imagine it not killing us all!"

  • I'll have to stop by the McDonalds ask ask the people there how their liberal arts degree is working out for them.
  • Although I do agree that there is way too much of a push lately to have everybody code, not everybody needs to understand everything about code. They should be exposed to logic and technology and some code but they need to know the more basic stuff. However the idea that AI is going to put together code for us is ludicrous at least for the foreseeable future (give it 50-100y or so)

    At some point the people that know the 'basics' like how to bootstrap your computer to boot the OS to run the application to do

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @12:42PM (#51769533)

    My kids won't need to code because soon computers will just code for them

    Coding is how you communicate with a machine in order to tell it what you want it to do. Even if we one day have a computer doing what is today thought of as coding, you still need to tell the computer what you want it to do, and *that* will be what coding is.

    There was a time when people would code in actual machine language, and then we invented assemblers which did that for us. We then coded in assembly language until we invented compilers which did the assembly code for us. Now we code in "high level" programming languages. Maybe we will go up a few more levels, and computers will do more of the work for us. It doesn't mean we won't code anymore. It means we will be more productive and there will be even more benefit to knowing how to communicate with these magical machines that are willing to work for free.

  • Seriously. Pretty soon, everyone will be just creating stuff out of stuff. This Jason douche, what has he created?

    My very very favorite part FTA

    I bought a big box of SAM Labs kit. My kids can come in here and decide to make a device where if my son squeezes his teddy he will send me a tweet to say, ‘I love you.’ Or if you walk through a laser tripwire it will set off an alarm. It interacts with actual hardware, actual code and all it requires is a squeeze, a drag-and-drop and a little imagin

  • Yea just a creative person with now technical expert Until... Either something goes wrong, or the needs go outside of norm. Then the startup is done.
  • ...while most kids who learn coding in school don't actually learn the higher level arts (e.g., system design; writing comprehensive--and comprehensible--specifications, etc.), they will gain an understanding of the sequential nature of today's software models, how much they can accomplish with just a few verbs and parameters, and the limitations/dangers of leaving things unspecified. In that way, they gain a deeper understanding of what we who program actually do, the limitations the technology imposes, a

  • "...soon computers will just code for them"

    No they won't. Has this guy even looked at the trashfire that is most code? He's using the South Park profit logic here and just spewing nonsense.

    Kids do need to learn programming logic. They also need math and arts.

  • into programming. I'd rather had my kids learn mechanics, home ec, farming and survival skills than be forced into learning how to program.

  • Today the IT world is such a mess because of "coding" - aka "hacking". It used to be that systems were designed well. I am not talking about big design up front - I am talking about prototyping and refinement, but with a design centric focus. Today's programmers jump right to code, and that is why systems are so insecure, and the IOT is not even possible as a result - because it will be all hackable. So teach kids to "code"? No way. Instead, teach them about systems thinking. Teach them about artificial int
  • My kids won't need to code because soon computers will just code for them

    My kids won't need to know how to do {insert skill here} because soon computers will just do it for them

    My kids won't need to learn {insert knowledge here} because soon computers will know everything

    This is one of the stupidest frames of mind I could possibly imagine, and it's also one of the most dangerous trends I've been seeing lately. 'Convenience' is all well and good, but am I the only person looking forward far enough into the future to see that this kind of thinking will lead to a dystopian future like in the movie Idiocracy, where nobody knows how anything works anymore, or knows how to do anything themselves, so everything just starts falling apart, and being dumb is the rule rather than the

  • That's the problem with government mandated school curricula: scientists, engineers, corporations, churches, religious nuts, Luddites, leftists, rightists, unions, parents, teachers, and everybody else is trying to force their ideas into the curriculum, not just for their own kids, but for everybody in the whole country.
  • Coding, at least if you include the full range of what software developers do, is a very creative profession. Yes, it also has elements of extreme detail orientation which some people think is not consistent with creativity... but have you ever talked to an artist about the details of their work? They obsess to a degree that makes my eyes glaze over, probably much the way they'd glaze if I went on about the criticality of code organization and naming.

  • In the 90s I earned good money "coding HTML" (yes people really called it that) to build crappy brochureware websites. This basically doesn't exist anymore. It's automated by well designed WYSIWYG editors generating the HTML "code" for you, or programming frameworks generating the html for you.

    I don't know if we ever get to drag and drop utopia of software development, but there is no doubt that things are advancing rapidly.

    The software development shortage will not be solved by a greater number of costly d

  • I do agree that programming is too specific an IT topic for lower grades. Naive office workers are a bigger drain on the economy than (alleged) lack of coding education, and a general IT course(s) would be a better use of time and resources in pre-college education.

    For example, many office workers often don't understand basics like the difference between clients and servers; and trade-offs associated with relationships, such as one-to-many, many-to-many, etc. Managers often ask for stupid crap because they

  • There's no point learning to code until PHP 6 is released.

  • So, everything. Oh wait, that's what everything is. So coding would be the non-art part of steam. Dumb statement.

    That said, no, coding should not be a part of school curriculum. It's a job today. That's why I started learning 30 years ago. It won't be anything special twenty years from now -- just another blue-collar job, like brick-laying.

    Also, coding is one of those all-application kind of things. There's nothing academic to learn, it's al practicum. Teach logic, sure. Teach technical writing. Te

  • Ban kids learning coding. Ban unlicensed access to programming tools. Show videos in classes of kids who take up coding then end up addicted to it, spending 18 hours a day in front of their screens. Kids sneaking into dark alleyways, handing over their hard-saved cash and getting a USB drive of IDEs, software frameworks, libraries, utilities. Kids selling their code on the black market, then ultimately getting busted.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      To a lot of people it seems like learning religion dictating the rules of the imaginary "friend" $DIETY is a lot more important than learning useful stuff.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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