What is Code?

This article was highly entertaining for me to read, especially as a computer science major. Ford delineates all of the intricacies of coding in a manner that seems approachable and easy to understand. For many, the concept of programming is daunting. The irony is that so many people I know are taking intensive science classes or working to become surgeons or diplomats- yet they claim they wouldn’t touch computer science with a ten foot pole. Ford writes about women, “it’s hard to imagine that they can’t write JavaScript. Programming…isn’t the most intellectually demanding task imaginable”. I’m certain that many of my friends would be excellent coders if they were more open-minded about it.

Ford also managed to get rid of the stigma of coders as geniuses who sit in a dark corner and code for days. He portrayed coders as an ecosystem- as a culture of ordinary people. He also successfully personifies it with the symbol of “the man in the taupe blazer”.

A few other points truly stood out to me. One was how quickly code becomes obsolete. I was aware of this fact upon entering this field — but I never truly stopped to think about how what I’m learning now may be irrelevant in 5 years. In other classes, you may learn theorems that have held true for centuries- but in computer science, what you learn is ever-changing. This fact is exciting yet frightening, for it is possible that my career will center upon a programming language that hasn’t even been created yet.

I hope that Ford’s piece made programming seem feasible to those who were previously diverted from it. Technology is so prevalent in today’s society; those who shy away from it should at least have a basic knowledge of it. I think that Ford truly hit the nail on the head, and if more people-especially women- were exposed to such a comprehensible summary of programming, they would give it a shot.