Stop Telling Me I Need to Code
Adam Marx
21922

Coding is not a skill — it’s a tool

What coding is today is different from what it was 10 years ago or what it will be in 10 years from now. Everybody can use a tool. Code is just a tool. A tool with a quite steep learning curve, but the result is the same as of any tool. You are given some blocks that were designed by someone else (the coding language’s creators) and expect to do a job using a combination of these blocks. Coding evolved from mostly being logically complex and abstract (assembly, C) to mostly being something that resembles English language ruby, python). The building blocks have evolved, from having to make your own bricks from clay, to ready-made components that can be used as is, to build larger and more complicated structures.

Coding will also continue to evolve so as it will be integrated into every tool — by just dragging and dropping — or typing in natural language. Its purpose is to give components a meaning and assemble them into a logical structure that executes the job needed to be done. Many people will be able to code in a way that is similar to the way they use the computer today for daily tasks.

So it might have been extremely hard to learn to code 10 years ago, might still be quite challenging to learn today, but no doubt that in the future coding will be part of learning to use a computer, just like we learn to use the mouse and graphical interfaces today.

Ignoring the fact that “coding”, under any form, will play an essential part in the future workplace, is the same as ignoring the potential of touch screens 20 years ago. Nowadays about half of people on the planet are using them!

I completely agree, coding is a technical skill, that requires time and dedication to learn, but one should not understand that coding is just one thing. There are so many levels of coding, and an example of that can be seen if you show assembly code to most of javascript developers today they will probably shrug their shoulders in bewilderment, so nowadays most “coders” stay away from it.

Some might also say that coming up with arguments is a skill that some people will not develop, because they believe they are not “arguers”. But I will argue (pun intended… maybe?) that it’s slightly ignorant to believe that all you need to do is just one thing and do it well. Of course some will be great coders and some will be great arguers, however we need to learn and practice all the skills and challenge ourselves to understand the world from other people’s perspective in order to thrive and make progress.

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