Points and counter points on whether programming should be something all kids should learn: Should Johnny Learn to Program?
I’m on the side of no, programming is not a basic skill everyone should learn. I like this counterpoint:
The giant hole in our workforce isn’t entry level developers who can hash out c code and write a compiler from scratch. It is for people with combined skills who can APPLY encapsulated technology (lots thanks to companies has been encapsulated) to specific domains.
Let’s stop trying to train the mass of high school students to become preservation carpenters, and instead make them very good contractors.
I would recommend a deeper understanding of computing for the USER. People don’t have a clue of the very basics of computing.
How many people click on an attachment to save and can never find it again? People don’t understand the concept of CC vs BCC. Folks don’t not the difference between an Operating System, a browser, and a website. Learning how to program is NOT something everyone should learn. Phillips is right on the mark in suggesting we adjust the education system to teach application of encapsulated technology. A good book on the subject is Daniel Pink’s A While New Mind.