Should Everyone Learn How To Code? It Depends…

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The emergence of new technologies has led to a kind of technological arms race between the world powers. Currently, America is in the lead because Qualcomm, Intel, Apple, and the Silicon Valley tech giants are all there. Many of the technologies and devices we are using have components manufactured by US companies. The fact that the US could punish foreign entities if they don’t comply with their demands by, for example, depriving them of both a market and a source of components and raw materials, is one of the many examples of the advantages of having tech companies call your country home. Therefore companies and countries all over would benefit from a tech-savvy population. If a country has a high rate of literacy of coding it is easy to get tech companies to roost in your country. The technology that the company owns is now for your country to control.

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.” This famous quote by Steve Jobs was likely made because Steve Jobs foresaw the importance of technology in the coming age and not just because that’s how he felt about programming. Technology rapidly evolved in the past decade and with it, the importance of these technologies changed as well. And now tech companies are urging more people to learn how to code. Huge salaries offered by the tech companies became one of the reasons that people choose to study Computer Science, Information Technology, and other IT-related courses within the past two decades. The IT and Tech industry became the fastest growing industry, and people who know how to code became a high demand.

Hence the debate “Why everyone should know how to code” exists. And over the years people kept adding more and more reasons why everyone should learn how to code. And many of the arguments made are quite convincing. Tech, however, has the tendency to sound more important than how it really is and there’s just as much reason why not everyone should learn how to code, and why everyone should learn but not jump into the career of programming.

To code, or not to code

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The decision to study coding depends on what you want to be in the future or, if you’re already there, what you want to do with that skill. The only skill that’s important as a programmer is the willingness to learn and study again and again. Software development, unlike many other industries, doesn’t depend on static knowledge. There is no need for a developer to memorize all the programming languages and objects that don’t immediately concern him. A programmer that specializes in web design, wouldn’t need to learn much C# or He or she would only need to know how to design pages using images, HTML 5, CSS 3, and probably general knowledge of javascript. Bootstrap is optional if he or she knows how to create responsive web pages.

In the same way, people should see the skill of coding as an optional thing. You don’t need to be a programmer if all you’re planning to do in life is sell cupcakes. There is an advantage to being tech-savvy, but having to study how your tech is created when you plan to work in other kinds of jobs anyway is too troublesome. If you’re a business owner who wants a website for your business, just leave it to the experts instead of troubling yourself.

In the end

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But you know? Even if we did teach everyone to code, not everyone will like coding enough to consider entering the industry. Sure, there will be kids who will consider the option, but just like with every other industry, not everyone will choose to be a nurse, or be an engineer. Coding is not for everyone, despite what many in the industry say. And any advantage that some countries with lots of IT companies have isn’t 100% obtainable even if you have a lot of people who know how to code. Life choices and skills differ from people to people.

So should everyone know how to code? No, and that’s fine. Should you know how to code? Unless you want to work in this industry, no. It really depends.