This is wrong on so many levels. Programming is not how people “talk” to, nor interface with, machines. People use machines in their daily lives to perform many tasks, but they do so by interfacing with the machine, either through a graphical user interface, or through natural language interface, or through a physical interface (e.g., ATM, kiosks, etc.). This is the wonder of the modern Information Age.

However, programming is ALL about enabling a computer or machine to provide useful function for people (i.e., the users). It’s about applying logic and reason to solving programming problems and then translating the solution (algorithm) into the programming language of your choice (Java, Python, C++, etc.). Not everybody needs to write computer software, except for the simplest of tasks such as spreadsheets or throwing up a static website.

Coding is not the new literacy. Computer literacy is being able to use modern technology to assist you in your daily life. Coding (I hate that term) or programming is not like writing or arithmetic or driving a car. You need to write or drive a car every day. When you go to the supermarket, you need to do some simple arithmetic in your head so that you know how much you’re spending. Most everybody can go through much of their daily life without writing a single line of JavaScript or Python. This won’t ever change.

And speaking of “coding” (I really hate that term), too many bootcamps focus on the rote skills of translating a programming solution into a particular language (i.e., “coding”), such as JavaScript or Ruby. And that’s assuming they approach programming as, first and foremost, finding a solution (algorithm) to the problem, and then translating. (An algorithm is always language-agnostic.) Problem-solving is the far more difficult task, which I’m sure these bootcamps do not focus on.

Finally, encouraging everyone to “code” is a disingenuous intention. There’s really no point in being a mediocre programmer, and despite your exhortations, most people have neither the aptitude nor the motivation to push through the difficulties of programming.

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