Not Everyone Should Code

Not Everyone Should Code


79,840 dollars: The average salary of a computer programmer in America. Average meaning many can afford a big fancy house or rent a closet in San Francisco. Even the lowest paid ten percent make more than the average American. Programming is so well paid because it’s so in demand and so in demand because it’s growing so quickly in importance. But it’s more than a trend. Surely it’s the inevitable direction of things, right? Say something big like programming is the future and people conclude that fast forward 20 years if you don’t know how to program, Well, good luck getting a job at McDonald’s But as long as there are jobs, economic laws say people will specialize and there’s no reason to think programming is any different. A valuable skill to learn? Absolutely, and more so every day. In the way of reading and writing? Not even close. Not everyone should code, and saying otherwise may only harm those you intend to help. The biggest fans of “everyone should code” are politicians and technology companies, and that’s no coincidence. To a politician, more of any job that means more taxes, more spending, more everything good. and programming jobs pay especially well, so they’re especially loved But there’s also something unique about these jobs in particular. Technology companies, often started by programmers, have international influence like no one else. If someone is going to pull the world’s financial and emotional levers, and unfortunately, we know they are, you as a politician want them in your country. He who regulates the technology company, regulates the world. America’s power, as home to so many global technology giants, is hard to underestimate. Few companies have so much financial and cultural influence. Imagine America’s reaction if instead they were based in, I don’t know, say Russia. People like President Obama are so vocal about coding because they understand its potentials. So does China. they’ve decided it’s too high a price to pay. And for technology companies, “everyone should code” is “everyone should flood the market with the skills we need”. But it’s not all self-interest. There’s also a dangerous mix of good intentions and the dunning-kruger effect. Seeing trends, it’s easy to make a prediction. It won’t be long before nearly all jobs require programming, and the solution is to encourage an already financially troubled generation to pursue the high-paying safe job of computer programming But a little bit of foresight can be more dangerous than none at all. Seeing the potential of programming, without knowing what it’s really like. Programmers do make a lot of money. But so do surgeons. actually three times as much. and dentists, and psychologists, and lawyers So why is programming treated in a way surgery isn’t? because we’re told it’s not just another trade, But an essential skill like reading and writing, and if it is then it totally should be required in every school. But if not -and I don’t think it is- then it’s just one admittedly pretty good career path of many. could anyone perform surgery? given enough time and training, yeah, maybe, but people have different talents. Surgery may be in high demand But we know it’s not for everyone. in fact specialization is good. It’s the reason we have computers at all. Every single one of us could be completely self-reliant But you’re probably not going to be the best hunter, cobbler, cook, engineer, and scientist in the world When you have to do everything you can be good at nothing, so how about this? You get really good at farming, I’ll make bricks and we can trade. This way we can both have really nice stuff. That’s the basis for civilization! And you might say, well both farmers and masons still need to read and write, but programming can’t be such a skill. It’s difficult enough that it just doesn’t make economic sense for everyone to learn it, unless or until robots take over everything jobs need done. more and more will involve computers, but it won’t be doctors and teachers programming them, because as long as programmers get better at programming, and teachers get better at teaching, by each sticking to their crafts, they will. So as far as jobs go, It’s so really good one, but it is just a job, not a basic universal skill A good teacher can take a complicated topic, Deconstruct it, and explain it in easier terms. To make accessible is necessarily to simplify But it’s really easy to do what looks identical, but actually oversimplifies. in fact, That’s the challenge of YouTube. don’t simplify, and you have a boring two-hour video. Over simplify, and you paint a misleading picture. In its enthusiasm to make programming accessible, “everyone should code” does exactly that. Tap-tap-tap, that’s programming! definitely not sitting at a desk for long hours solving problems. Here’s the thing; whether you’ve been to college or have any programming experience, You can pay a company to teach you how to code in 14 weeks. And for not that much money. That should be a huge red flag. if you can become a developer in 14 weeks, either companies overpay for what’s really a simple job, or there’s actually much more to it. And of course there is. It’s the difference between programming and computer science. the first you really can learn in 14 weeks. You can read it in a book. its memorizing what to type to make a computer do a thing. That’s what “everyone should code” teaches. But it claims the benefits of computer science; solving efficient creative mathematical problems. That’s what companies pay six-figure salaries for. and if that’s your thing, awesome! In fact, I’m one of those people. but many, maybe most wouldn’t actually enjoy it. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach programming, but it has to be honest it can be accessible and inclusive, but not misleading. Stem is also cheered for the money, but that too attracts the wrong people. It would be awesome if teachers were paid more, but one benefit of what we have, is how it selects for people passionate about the job, not just after a paycheck. Lots of people go into computer science just for the money, but they may end up hating it, and the irony is when you sell people on an unrealistic job, supply rises and salaries fall because you might imagine a huge team of people behind every tech company, but very few are actually engineers When Instagram had 7 million users, it had four employees Four. As in, 4.0. There will be more demand for programming, but not unlimited demand. So we might as well attract who’s actually interested. Programming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and adding too much sugar will only make it extra bitter when they find out what it’s really like. Maybe programming isn’t for everyone, but neither is history, or music, or art And we all take those classes in school. Surely there are other benefits to learning programming. There’s no doubt programming teaches skills like problem-solving and creative thinking. But this puts the cart before the horse. if you’re already sold on the importance of programming, it’s easy to see everything through that lens. Coding is a way to understand our world and think differently. But if those are the skills we care about let’s find the best way to teach them. If we suddenly have 60 minutes of school to spare, I’d suggest a class on personal finance or critically consuming media or speaking. The class with the biggest impact on my life was debate, and critical thinking is much needed. Coding classes should be available for those interested, but not as a requirement. Because everyone learns differently, and at a different pace, and likes different things. I know my high school didn’t teach all the subjects I wanted to learn, [AD] but that’s what’s so great about Skillshare. It’s an online learning community for you. Maybe you’re interested in animation in which case you can learn from the Masters themselves, the Kurzgesagt (In A Nutshell) team. They give you graphics to work with, so you can download them follow along and make a fantastic video So if you want to make a video like this one or even better, Skillshare is a great way to get a head start. If you are interested in programming or want to find out if you are they have classes that can ease you into it But it’s the real deal that will help you really understand a computer science with classes like this one Which teach you all the big concepts behind computing. You can also ask questions, download content and submit your work, but you’re not locked into structured classes And you don’t have to pay per class so you’re free to learn exactly what you want how much you want And by who you want There are a ton of classes on pretty much any topic so you can pick which one works best for you. With an annual subscription, Skillshare is less than $10 a month, or you can just try it out. The first 500 people to use the link in the description will get their first two months for free and risk free. Thanks to Skillshare and to everyone who supports the channel by using the link

100 thoughts on “Not Everyone Should Code

  • SkillShare link is https://skl.sh/polymatter4 – I was kinda amazed to find out Kurzgesagt (In a Nutshell) has a SkillShare course on animation 😮

  • Worst nightmare of a programmer:
    A buggy kyboard that writes twice or nothing when used.
    Nothing is worse and more confusing than a missing bracket that results into an error message in the next lines.

  • Alright, this is it. Coding actually needs math, logic, etc. It is good that all give it a shot as studying English, French, any language (there is more than one computer higher level language), Mathematics, Economics, Finance, etc. In this way, we will have more data of the pitfalls of any approach to it as with any other profession. In the end, simply not everyone can or will.

  • Learn how to program here, I watched this and now became a real programer, should watch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAlSjtxy5ak

  • the barriers to entry is low. anybody can get a computer and a compiler and call themselves a software developer. not anybody can become a doctor or a civil engineer. The software development field is caught in a limbo between a true engineering profession and blue collar manufacturing. it has neither the prestige and barriers to entry of a profession nor the protections of blue collar unions. this whole idea that everybody and their Grandma can "learn to code" is turning the field into a blue collar trade.

  • Jobs by payscale:
    – Software Engineer/ SDE
    – Web Application Developer / Web Developer
    *Logarthmic Jump*
    – Programmer
    *Logarthmic Jump*
    – "Coder"

    Programmers / Coders are often not independent workers and are sometimes considered "code monkeys" or more junior developers, often even in unpaid internships or even pay to work internships.

    Rent by job location:
    SF $$$$$
    NYC $$$$-$$$$$
    Seattle/Portland $$$-$$$$

    Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc: SF, NYC, Seattle/Portland, Redmond etc

  • Yeah you are right, but I quite see it in my school that less than 5% of the people in my school could make it to a programmer, so you don't need to be worried that the Job "Programmer" get at risk, because of an overflow of programmers.

  • The bottom line is school curriculums teach math, history, biology, etc, not because you'll be a mathematician or historian but because the knowledge is generally useful and applicable all over. You can only get high salary if you know computer science, but just knowing how to do basic coding is useful. It's always better and easier to write software for someone who has some grasp of how computers work.

  • >People have different talents
    >It's not for everyone
    >Specialization is good
    Sounds to me like gate keeping. Unlike with surgery, human lives don't directly depend on programming. And "talents" is essentially a hoax – anyone can learn anything within a reasonable boundary given enough interest, nothing to do with nature, all nurture. A really disappointing video with 0 actual arguments.

  • A few months ago, somebody asked me to tech him how to program. He started coding before I did but he only watched youtube tutorials and copied the code then.
    Maybe I'm just bad at explaining things but it took a hour to tell him what you can use a constructor for and why you shouldn't type all the code in one class and just execute it.

  • "If you can become a Programmer in 14 weeks, that's a HUGE red flag… Still, let me tell you about Skillshare, where you can get access to 14 weeks Programming Courses".

    Dude. Fuck you.

  • How i do this is o find something like 12hours tutorial and then i know the code. Part when i have to find way to make something is the great part

  • I'm trying to get in coding. Look up some good videos and youtubers and after 2 days of searching I start seeing videos like not everyone should code, stop dreaming about programming and you wont be good at coding…tnx

  • Computer science should be taught like history or social studies or Math in school as a dedicated class and not just an elective, because it's important for us to know about the basics of something that's so prevalent in today's world. Not everyone will become a historian but we all have to learn about our history.

  • If everyone really did have the skills to code then the pay for coding would plummet to the levels of other "low skilled" jobs that most people are capable of doing, as the coding labor supply would be much larger.

  • You still should introduce coding to children early in school. not everyone should become an IT guy, but I think getting to know how to code and udnerstand it at a basic level is way better than fucking 10 years of learning literature in the native language. no shit. that being said, schools should also focus more on critical thinking, sports, health and politics.

  • This is true! there are so many people that want to code just because "It will make them rich". Most of these fellas never made it through at college.

  • Imagine spending an entire video talking about how coding isn't some catch all thing everyone can do and that promises from companies that they'll teach you how to code in no time are BS…

    Only to fucking shill for SkillShare at the end of the video. Without a single lick of irony.

  • CODING is HARD, super super hard. Takes high intelligence person, just to grasp main concepts and whats going on. MOREOVER, each language has a massive superstructure built on top of it – libraries, frameworks, platforms, utilities, conventions, etc. Learning a full programming language like C++, C# or Java is only the BEGINNING.

  • @PolyMatter I just wanted to have this pinned in case someone is discouraged:
    There are professionals in the field that have documents full of copy-paste content. The memorization process for programming can seem arduous, but maybe it doesn't have to be!

  • I like your video and I'm going to play this for my computer science kiddos because I think it is very meaningful. One comment though: When you add extra sugar the drink becomes sweeter not more bitter.

  • There is a certain amount of minimum coding skills everybody should learn, just because of how much easier it can make various sorts of work.
    For example, there are parts of Automate the Boring Stuff that should definitely be folded into general education.
    Beyond that, I don't think everybody would actually want to code.
    Engineering is also a lucrative profession, and everybody learns mathematics in high school, yet you don't see people clamouring to become engineers – I don't see why programming should be any different. Even in schools where basic programming actually was a mandatory module we all did at the age of 14, the actual Computer Science class offered after it wasn't actually that popular.

  • In my opinion we should not teach at a people who aren't interested in coding. Instead make programs to give the illusion that people get what they want or that they shouldn't try to code because if theres a lot of programmers in the world we will lose a lot of money because there is a lot of people with the same job.

  • I always say that programming is the art of pitting the strength of your forehead against the resilience of a wall of indeterminate thickness.

    There are a ton of people that go to study CompSci without the fortitude for it. It can be really friggin frustrating, and you have to be the sort of person that finds fulfillment in reaching a solution. Otherwise you're just going to get blindsided by it.

  • Imagine people in different expertise all know how to code, then we can just code programs or even AIs that do everything mankind needs.

  • Way to knock out that straw man! Now who has ever heard "everyone should code?" Not I, and I've been doing it for over 20 years.

  • I actually want to become a game designer when I grow up! The website Scratch got me into coding at age 12. I'm 16 now and it would be really cool to recreate some of my games on Java or HTML with better graphics since I made several games on Scratch. The one I've been working on is a game where you are the cat and you fight increasingly difficult enemies as long as possible. It would be cool to make a clone of that game on Java with extremely polished graphics and more features. I already like to add extra features. In the Scratch Fighters game talked about above, you can access other modes by pressing the space bar while on the title screen and entering a 5-digit code. There's a "Super Hard" mode where enemies start out hard instead of starting laughably easy. Also there's a "Speedrun" mode where you have a very strict time limit to defeat each enemy.

  • i literally didnt know programming had this much payment i just was in love with computers tried to learn programming and failed but then tried 2 years later and boom i just learned it for itself and not the salary and 80k is mind boggling all i can say rn would be bruhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Damn, industry really needs more people having this honest conversations. I totally agree with everything you said, specially oversimplification.

  • I study STEM, but like you say, more than half the people in my class don't even like it but just want to make a lot of money later.

  • Personally, I believe everyone should know the basics of coding. The syntax, Booleans, conditionals, and loops.

    If Then Else is a super helpful concept for daily life that I didn't realize a lot of people outright lack until I tried to explain it to non-coders. No matter how I put the concept, even in regular English, a lot of people fade out and simply can't grasp a simple "This if this is true, this if something else is true instead" kind of process. This is weird because growing up I thought that was how people did most everything.

    I don't think everyone should become a programmer, but at the end of the day, the basic concepts of code in any language are just plain out helpful. Teaching them should be mandatory, and coding just a little will help people memorize them.

  • Fun fact the Greek ? Is the English ;

    If you have a programming friend replace every; with the Greek ? And watch them go insane trying to figure out the syntax error

  • As an argument this stands, but soon this video will be absolutely false, the condition that says programming takes too long to learn is about to change, the demand that everyone learns to program is also about to change, you are about to find everything from clothes to rockets littered with instruction cards representing programs made by children, mothers, everyone.

  • The difference between surgery and programming is that we don’t need any bad surgeries but we need a ton of bad programmers. Speaking as a software developer with 12 years of experience

  • Jesus CHRIST was that Skillshare ad smooth!
    I mean, it's not bad because I was SUPER engaged at the video, but I can't help but feel like I watched a purely commercial entertainment, aiming for my money.
    Not that's the case, that could totally be a video you were making before and just did a really good transition to the ad, if it is the case, really good job!
    But the point is, the ad makes all the information LOOK misleading, not that it IS, but it COULD, purely because we're taught ads never speak the truth— they only want your money.
    Anyway, really good video, sorry for the unpopular opinion, I really appreciate the way the information is presented, even made me question if I really should be a programmer/computer scientist. I am not good with numbers, but I love to look for creative solutions for problems, especially computer-related ones, so I just need to know good maths!

  • for (let i = 0; 1 < ∞; i++) {

    if (line32 === "error") {
    console.log("Stackoverflow");
    } else {
    console.log("You have now finished life.");
    }
    }

  • My high school teaches programming, it gives students a look at what it actually is like to program, which is great since we can decide for ourselves if we like it or not.

  • Nothing you learn in computer science is required in most programming jobs. Yes, it does make you think and solve problems better, but you won't be using most of the theory you've learnt whilst working on a product. Programming is also just a small part of developing a product – there's a lot more to it, but usually the programmer doesn't have to worry about it.

  • Well, i think basic coding makes your computer life so much easier and more efficient. This IS something close to everybody should know, not because everyone should become a programmer, but almost every occupation today is using computers in some way… and it is simply the most powerful competence in terms of using computers. How many people in front of computers do tasks that are repetitive and anyone with some coding skills could automate? Think about tools such as regex, grep,… what about command line software installation, what about filling out forms automatically, file conversion tools instead of hand by hand copying for publishers,… what about a designer who needs some weird repetitive pattern for a flyer background,… there is just so much fun stuff that feels like magic that you can do with computers, knowing this i am simply sad so many people never learn to really use a computer, by coding, at least some bit — following a book like 'automate the boring stuff with python', but instead rely on sometimes annoying GUIs for every tool they use. It's limiting, and people never switch bc. they are afraid of code and command lines…

  • Many, most can't do it no matter how much training they get. In fact, half the programmers at my client's company they should pay to stay at home, it would be cheaper.

  • You are right about a couple of things and I agree with much of it. But anyone who uses a computer for their job can benefit from coding. I do every day office tasks more efficiently than my non engineer colleagues because I can quickly write code to do repetitive tasks instead of doing them the way most people do. Granted I only can do that because I spent years honing my craft, but a little goes a long way. For me basic programming and having the nerve to use it off the cuff is just going to be basic computer literacy eventually.

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