At the eye-blearingly early time of 7.30am on Friday out at Legado at Rosenview in Stellenbosch, a room full on fine folk debated the topic of "Should everyone learn to code?" for Argumentative Mornings (@ArgMorns). Herman Lintvelt of Polymorph argued for no and Lyndsay Lawrence, re-founder of Umonya argued for yes.
An interesting thread that came out for me was the idea that everyone should learn to code to get the benefit of learning logical and critical thinking, but that doesn't mean everyone should write code, at least not for a living. I think it would have steered the conversation away from the central questions a bit too much, but I'm also interested in the opposite: should everyone learn design? With developers and designers working closer together all the time, thanks largely to the uptake of Responsive Web Design, and the lines between them blurring, how much could developers benefit from having deeper graphic design knowledge?
After our two speakers had had their say and a chance to offer rebuttals of their opponent's argument, and a lively discussion around the table, we did a quick show of hands for yays and nays: we were split down the middle.
Some related things that have popped up in my link stream recently(ish):
- Unicorn, Shmunicorn—Be a Pegasus by Wayne Greenwood
- “Designers shouldn’t code” is the wrong answer to the right question by Joshua Seiden
- NBA Superstar Chris Bosh: Here’s Why You Should Learn to Code on wired.com
- Bo & Yana: "Delightful robots that fuse play with programming for kids of all ages."
- Hopscotch. Coding for kids: an iPad programming language
On a personal note: I really enjoyed this one. I tend to do work behind the scenes for events like this (CTFEDs, SPIN), because I think I don't do the speaking in public thing well at all. I was taken a little by surprise when Rian (@rianvdm) called us to order and then stepped aside for me to MC, but I found that I really enjoyed it. And not just because it gave me the hideous power of being able to say who's next!