As Snoop Dogg once said, “support tha american dream n make coding available to EVERYONE!!”. I believe coding should be a mandatory and integral part of school curricula just as the three Rs are (Reading, Writing & Arithmetic).
In the 21st century, every student should learn to program, for three reasons. Computational thinking is an essential capability for just about everyone. Programming is an incredibly useful skill: fields from zoology to foreign exchange trading are becoming information fields, and those who can bend the power of the computer to their will have an advantage over those who can’t. Finally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 71 percent of all new jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics in 2014) during the next decade will be in computer science. I do not believe that everyone should undergo rigorous computer science education, or should be force to take programming; however, I believe every student should at least be exposed to coding due to its rise in importance in all industries. This quote from Kirschenbaum perfectly summarizes my view on the matter: “When I teach courses on new media and electronic literature, I’m not interested in turning my students into professional code monkeys. They can go elsewhere for that if that’s what they want.”
My experience with coding is actually quite limited unfortunately. Having grown up in Brussels and attended a French school, coding was hidden away from me as it wasn’t believed to be a necessary part of education. My first exposure to coding was in Introduction to Computer Science at Carleton, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided not to pursue the subject however, as I was not an excellent computer scientist and decided to pursue a career that does not require computer science. The courses I took from CodeAcademy strongly reminded me of my intro course, in both the structure of the lesson and content learned.
You can see which courses I have completed on my Code Academy Profile.