Coding as literacy (plus 3D JS holograms!)

In case it hasn’t been on your radar, watch this adorable Code.org video (featuring my friend Vanessa!)

I love the narratives in the story, and around the time this came out, I saw call for opinions “Is Coding the New Literacy?” I have to say that I love this topic … this was my response:

I think learning to code is indeed the new literacy. Not that everyone needs to code well, just as how ever writer doesn’t need to be the next Hemingway. As the number of technological tools we have expands into our daily lives (have you seen Google Glasses? recently filed patents for wearable sensors?) it’s becoming important to have a basic understanding of programming to customize our experiences with the world.

Basic knowledge of programming lets you customize your phone to give you important alerts, allows you to discuss possible technical solutions to problems, it allows you to work on projects that advance yourself professionally in a technology-centered world. It’s only going to become more important. Learning to code doesn’t necessarily mean trying to become a software engineer, but it does help you keep pace in the digital world, and as such, is becoming a form of literacy.

Not my best on-the-fly response, but it wasn’t for the blog 🙂

I’m truly baffled when people say “Meh, why do you need to learn to code?” You know what that sounds like to me? Every kid ever who said “Why do I need algebra? Or calculus?” Well, sucker, believe it or not, you might need to use that again one day, when you develop an interest in finance (calculus is helpful for some formulations), or want to understand the logic of solving a programming problem (discrete math, arguably algebra).

Why should anyone learn math? Why should we teach foreign languages? Why should anyone learn to program?

See what I’m getting at? There are just so many amazing things happening in this world.

Cue video of 3D gesture-controlled ‘hologram’ made with JavaScript. The fuck, you guys.

I think it’s silly to think that we don’t need to bother to teach people even the basic concepts of the things that make things like this possible. THAT’S why I love to teach programming.

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  1. Coding as literacy (plus 3D JS holograms!) | Skillcrush - March 13, 2013

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