Gone are the days when programming languages could only be mastered by programmers like Bill Gates, who later got to dominate the world by storm. Now everyone holds the same potential, and the chance to learn and even master programming language easily.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is quite favorable for software developers.
"Employment of software developers is projected to grow 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 28 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 32 percent.....Job prospects will be best for applicants with knowledge of the most up-to-date programming tools and languages. Consulting opportunities for software developers also should be good as businesses seek help to manage, upgrade, and customize their increasingly complicated computer systems." - Software Developers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Teens, tweens and kids are often referred to as “digital natives.” Having grown up with the Internet, smartphones and tablets, they’re often extraordinarily adept at interacting with digital technology. But I'm skeptical of this descriptor. Sure, young people can text and chat and play games, but that doesn’t really make you fluent.
Fluency comes not through interacting with new technologies, but through creating them. The former is like reading, while the latter is like writing. I mean this figuratively — that creating new technologies, like writing a book, requires creative expression — but also literally: to make new computer programs, you actually must write the code.
The point isn’t to create a generation of programmers. Rather, it’s that coding is a gateway to broader learning. When you learn to read, you can then read to learn. And it’s the same thing with coding: If you learn to code, you can code to learn. Learning to code means learning how to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively. And these skills are applicable to any profession — as well as to expressing yourself in your personal life, too.