Has anyone ever seen the movie “The Social Network“ (I’m assuming you have, if not check out the video below)? Do you recall the raucous scene in the middle of the movie when several students engage in a hacking/coding competition for jobs with Facebook? That’s what I think of when confronted with the term, “coding.” Obviously, I have had very limited exposure to it, but if I was asked to describe it in three words with my level of experience (or inexperience), I would say, “Complex, scientific, useful.”
The history of coding can be traced back to the creation of the internet and the first published website circa 1981. In the 1980s, hypertext coding was used until the World Wide Web came into being in 1994, and HTML replaced it becoming the coding language. In this age, web design was very simple, and there was little variation in text, layouts and graphics. In the following years, HTML 2 and HTML 3 would be launched, and animated images emerged thanks to .gif, and Flash. Today, there are coding tools such as Flash, Cloud9, CodePen, CSSDesk etc.
Over the past few years, the pervasiveness of learning the practice of coding among general audiences has risen at impressive rates. As this New York Times piece substantiates, coding classes have never been more popular, and companies are being launched to help the swarms of young and older professionals to acquire this skill. Many see it as “a critical investment into one’s future. . . and a great way to increase your earning capacity.” This trend also points to an upsurge of interest in technological fields.
From the New York Times article: According to the Computing Research Association, the number of students who enrolled in computer science degree programs rose 10 percent in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available.
The value is certainly there to learn coding, but my question is just how necessary a skill can it become? Will there ever be a time where all professionals will need to learn the skill to be considered “qualified?” At any rate, maybe I better pick up some night classes this summer..