Let's fall in love
Everyone is doing it (with apologies to Cole Porter)
Irish kids are doing it..
Regular guys are doing it..
Girls are doing it…
The Mayor of New York is doing it...
They are all coding! Also known as Computer Programming.
It would be great to be able to say that Irish Schools were doing it (by and large they aren’t ). But the pressure for coding to become part of the secondary curriculum is building up all over the developed world, and hopefully we will not be too far behind.
Of course I am old enough to have seen all this before. For me coding is still a hobby that I love.
The early 80’s was the era of the coding hobbyist magazine, with titles like Personal Computer World (PCW), Practical Computing (UK) and Dr. Dobbs Journal (US). PCW closed in 2009 having long morphed into a rather dull trade magazine, Practical Computing closed in the 1990’s, and even Dr. Dobbs disappeared as a print magazine, but lingered on as a Website. However interestingly in March last year Dr. Dobbs commenced a resurrected PDF version of the magazine. In fact it would seem like the perfect time for some entrepreneurial type to launch a new hobbyist magazine to ride the current wave of popularity.
In the 80’s inexpensive home computers first became available, and since they didn’t do much of anything unless you programmed them yourself, learning to program was an absolute requirement. I still recall my pleasure in having an article accepted for publication in Practical Computing, featuring a program to solve alphametic puzzles.
Then in the late 1990s personal computers became things you played games on rather than programmed yourself, and the hobbyist scene died away. But now its back with a vengeance, and our discipline will certainly benefit from the renewed surge in interest. Exposure to coding at a young age brings huge benefits to all.
So maybe its time to fall in love with coding all over again.
And the bottom line is - coding is a skill that gets you a well paid job.