Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Wasting our money on teaching coding?

For our politicians coding is a new buzz word. Malcolm and Bill are both out their spruiking it as they promise to make a cleverer and richer Australia. Millions will be spent on this search for innovative excellence. Education expands again.
And for what?
An old non-coder like me would not have a clue but I was taken with this comment in a book review I stumbled across this afternoon:
Geoff Colvin, a senior editor at Fortune magazine, also looks for hope in the softer side of human nature. In Humans are Underrated, he makes the case that there is no point trying to beat machines at their own game. Computers may not actually think, but they do a very good job of using massive number-crunching to emulate our cognitive functions. Any job that relies on applying the grey matter is in jeopardy.
The irony here is that the spread of IT has brought huge demand for analytical skills. In education, science and technology are all the rage. These, though, are the very jobs that machines are best at copying. Learning how to code may be exactly the wrong response to the spread of computing, since this is the kind of work the computers will eventually do for themselves (which provokes an entirely different set of anxieties).
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