RE: Are Coders Worth It?

Either way, we need more.

Really powerful piece. The epitome of my career over the last few years. And while the article could inspire cynicism it actually inspires me to teach programming to more people. To make reading and writing code as common as reading and writing English. Not because I think web development is so valuable or important, but rather because removing coder scarcity will free us to support meaningful work. Maturing markets are forced to find real value because there’s no more low-hanging fruit to grab. Once we saturate the world with websites and apps, once everyone’s grandmother can code up a widget, I think “the market” will encourage us to return to music and art and all those things that add real meaning to our lives.

Having said all that, I’m slightly ambivalent here in that I do believe Web developers can be and have been meaningful agents of change. We’ve helped artists and protesters succeed through services like Kickstarter and Twitter (not to mention the benefits of Kiva, Wikipedia, DuoLingo…). And there are new web companies popping up everyday that aim to influence our culture in positive ways (e.g. Medium has the potential to bring back mass-market appeal to quality prose).

tl/dr: Web development is too highly valued but there are still some amazing things being done by web developers and the only way to pivot society back to supporting nontechnical interests is to saturate it with skilled workers.

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