Not everyone needs to learn how to code

Alex Yaseen
May 22, 2018 · 4 min read
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Coding is difficult

Now certainly, learning how to code could be a fantastic opportunity. But getting to the point where you’re familiar with and can use modern programming languages/frameworks for something real is hard. It requires more time and commitment than acknowledged by those recommending learning to code. There’s a steep learning curve, entirely new mindsets to adopt, and a large amount of overhead to stay up-to-date. If you want to be a professional software engineer, the investment is sensible. For the rest of us, though, the effort isn’t worth it just to be able to use computers more efficiently.

Specialization is important

Taking a step back, specialization of jobs has been a key factor in the increasing prosperity of the world. Most people don’t grow their own food, make their own clothes, build their own furniture, or record their own music (although if you do all of those things, we should hang out!). Instead, a few people specialize in each of those tasks and then sell their work to the rest of us, who specialize in other tasks. The result is work gets done by people who are actually experts in their field. Both quality and quantity increase.

Software is leverage

On the other hand, coding does have a lot of benefits. A person’s “leverage” is the amount of output they can get from a given period of time. People who know how to code have a huge amount of this kind of leverage, and can get a lot of output from each unit of time they put in. This is why software engineers get paid so much.

  • Make working with large data sets possible
  • Package complex tasks up into simple programs for others to use

Shouldn’t you be able to do these things without learning to code?

Yes. The ability to code gives engineers superpowers because of how much leverage they have on their time. Parabola gives everyone else the same superpowers.

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Programming, now for everyone

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