The Government wants to teach all children English. Here is why it’s a stupid idea!
Some of my developer friends have been looking for a good journalist, they are perfect examples of why our kids don’t work for the Telegraph. They’re driven, articulate, incredibly intelligent individuals stoking the fires of an industry that could help take this country back to the financial power house it once was. Rather than attention seeking guff pedlars, like the bulk of all Journalists.
I’m all for people learning English – I once read a poem by Dylan Thomas that was incredibly good, and I sure I remember once reading a newspaper article written for the benefits of the reader that didn’t try to perpetuate social stereotypes in order to get a few clicks for advert impressions. I do however think we need to be aware of it’s limitations.
English is a quaint, peculiar, dated skill. A bit like flower arranging, and competitive gurning. Now I’m not saying it doesn’t have it’s place in the modern world. Fanciful collections of stories correlated into one tome provide millions of the UKs newspaper readers with solace and entertainment daily.
There is a reason the inspiring ‘Start-Up’ generation of terrifyingly driven, talented, young developers frequently hire the skills of these ‘English Practitioners’ to help them embellish the textual promotional material they need to excite their potential customers. But if you leave a Journalist on his own he’ll start creating works of pure fantasy that perpetuate a significantly damaging stereotype.
English isn’t for everyone, personally I’m dyslexic. Written English was a phenomenal struggle for me going through school. I just couldn’t do it, I was incredibly lucky and both my parents where software engineers I was exposed to software development quite young, and I absolutely hated it. It was too easy.
I then proceeded to shun developing in favour a more scientific educational and career path. But it just kept coming back, the nagging feeling that most of the challenges I was presented could be made significantly easier with a bit of coding. I became passionate about solving problems, with code.
It’s unsurprising I came to that conclusion, seeing as the rest of the world did as well. If it wasn’t for developers your life would be significantly harder and quite a lot shitter. It’s not even worth pointing out anymore that almost all of the human race come into contact with the output of a developer almost every minute of their day.
But there simply isn’t enough of us, and this is partially due to a lack of exposure during this countries children’s most character forming years. I’m not going to pretend I pay much attention to the state of Education in this country, but I have a number of teachers in my social group (yes, I’m a developer and I have friends.. shocking) and am very aware that this Gove bloke isn’t entirely popular. Exposing children to a skill that touches almost every aspect of modern life is essential. Yes some will detest it, some will struggle, some will find it boring. However I’m sure most people can relate the same feeling to Maths, English or Drama everyone has ‘that’ subject at school they dreaded.
But creating a realistic ICT curriculum that shows what amazing things can be achieved with code. Also without trying to sound shallow, what amazing amount of money can be made. Is a must for this countries economy. Some of them will even enjoy it.
But a more significant problem is the perpetuation in the media that developers are predominantly ‘dull weirdos’; overweight blokes with no social skills who go home at night and wank over Princess Leia. This doesn’t entirely make for visions of an appealing workplace does it?
Now stereotypes happen for a reason, and yes the industry does attract social introverts who have a passion for expressing themselves by creating amazing software, forging their identities as ‘future wizards’ with very little concern for social chest beating. These guys and girls communicate with the 0′s and 1′s of the software and make some beautiful things. But to survive the software industry in this country needs balance, it needs people who can understand both the technical side and the personal side, the code and the business. We need leaders who can knock up a prototype app before lunch then wow the board of directors in the afternoon.
There is a place in my industry for everyone and crap like this is damaging.
From my blog (which I actually created specifically to write this post)