Adopt-a-Hydrant after cutbacks slashed his budget, and now Honolulu has Adopt-a-Siren, where volunteers can sign up to check for dead batteries in tsunami sirens across the city. In Oakland, its Adopt-a-Drain.
Sounds great, right? These simple software solutions could save lives, and they were cheap and quick to build. Unfortunately, most cities will never get a CFA team, and most cant afford to keep a stable of sophisticated programmers in their employ, either. For that matter, neither can many software companies in Silicon Valley; the talent wars have gotten so bad that even brand-name tech firms have been forced to offer employees a bonus of upwards of $10,000 if they help recruit an engineer.In fact, even as the Department of Labor predicts the nation will add 1.2 million new computer-science-related jobs by 2022, were graduating proportionately fewer computer science majors than we did in the 1980s, and the number of students signing up for Advanced Placement computer science has flatlined.Code.orgTheres a whole host of complicated reasons why, from boring curricula to a lack of qualified teachers to the fact that in most states computer science doesnt count toward graduation requirements. But should we worry? After all, anyone can learn to code after taking a few fun, interactive lessons at sites like Codecademy, as a flurry of articles in everything from TechCrunch to Slate have claimed. Michael Bloomberg pledged to enroll at Codecademy in 2012. Twelve million people have watched a video from Code.org in which celebrities like NBA All-Star Chris Bosh and will.i.am pledged to spend an hour learning code, a notion endorsed by President Obama, who urged the nation: “Dont just play on your phone—program it.”
So you might be forgiven for thinking that learning code is a short, breezy ride to a lush startup job with a foosball table and free kombucha, especially given all the hype about billion-dollar companies launched by self-taught wunderkinds with nary a mention of the private tutors and coding camps that helped some of them get there. The truth is, code—if what were talking about is the chops youd need to qualify for a programmer job—is hard, and lots of people would find those jobs tedious and boring.
via Is Coding the New Literacy? | Mother Jones.