Why We Shouldn’t Teach Girls to Code
Mrs Smith

As the proud father of three math-adept career women, as the proud subordinate of many great bosses who happened to be women, as the proud author of several early studies and articles (in the 1970s!) showing how women were discriminated against in science and engineering. and as a proud adviser to several STEM programs, I find this article a bit illogical.

Coding, for instance, will probably never be entirely routine or performed by robots. While it is true that a lot of coding is done by machine, there is always more and more coding to do, and at the high end coding is still done by hand. I can hand-code HTML for instance (when I first taught a pioneering new media course in 1994, the first code editor, Adobe PageMill, appeared 10 weeks into the semester; I immediately introduced my students to it), but I use an HTML editor for most of it. I still fine-tune by hand-coding.

I use the R language for quite a bit of my statistics work. I’m not good enough to code most things from scratch, but I can string prefab modules of code together, and modify code to get what I need.

In all of this,coding is only a small part of my job, and will be only a small part of the jobs of most STEM students. But they won’t be able to do the high-level jobs of the future without knowing how things work under the hood.