Teaching Kids to Code Is Overrated

April 23, 2018, 6:00 PM UTC
Schoolgirls looking at tablet togther and smiling
School children in uniforms in class with tablets
Klaus Vedfelt—Getty Images

In an age of widespread technological disruption, it has become fashionable to say that everyone should learn to code.

But there’s a problem: Coders face the same existential crisis as any other worker whose job is threatened by tech. We don’t teach today’s teenagers how to drive a car with a manual transmission; with autonomous vehicles, we might not teach tomorrow’s teens how to drive at all. The same goes for programmers. Today’s artificial intelligence software is powerful enough to create other A.I. software—which means it won’t be long before we replace coders with code that codes.

The best lesson from that coding boot camp you signed up for? It’s the same one you’d learn in a liberal arts college: How to solve problems. We surely won’t run out of those.

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