Another IT fad?
Sorry but the Year of Coding has got me so worked up that I have to comment somewhere....
Where to start.....
I see lots of people in business who still use Word as an electronic typewriter with the added benefit of a spell checker.
Excel? It adds columns of numbers doesn't it?
My point here is that many people in business do not know how to use the basic tools that have been around now for many years. Or to put it another way, the level of IT literacy in many workers is still far too low.
ICT in schools? My wife is a teacher in a Children's Centre. They have been waiting for months to get an internet connection into the classroom. They have iPads that might as well have stayed in their boxes because no-one thought about the need for iTunes to be installed onto PCs. The laptop that drives the whiteboard no longer boots and they cannot get anyone to fix it. Point? That some schools still need some of the IT basics in place and working.
Year of Coding? Reminds me of the numeracy and literacy hour. My daughter was at school during that fad. Almost put her off maths and reading, and certainly put many of her friends off maths and reading.
Speaking of maths, are not some of the most (be careful here...) proficient programmers either mathematicians or Physicists? Think Bletchley and the people there where computing was 'invented' and of course Tim Berners-Lee has a 1st class Physics degree. So if we want to develop good programmers then should we not start by putting more emphasis on maths and Physics in schools, and the coding can come later?
OK, disjointed rant over. I'm sure that raising the profile if IT is a good thing, that some children might get enthused about coding and that the debate about what should be taught in schools when it comes to IT is definitely a good thing. However it seems to me that the debate has become reduced to a simple mantra - teach everyone to code - and that all our IT skills issues will be solved.
No, they won't. It might put more people off IT than become the coders we need. And there is more to IT - so much more - than coding.
Disclosure : I am an IT professional, I have a Physics degree, I don't code and I don't want to.