Feeds

Coding: 'Suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

Niche, mechanical skill, a bit like plumbing or car repair

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Readers' corner Teaching all children to code software is daft and pointless to The Telegraph blogger Willard Foxton. In an article attacking the UK government’s plans to update the ICT curriculum, the “investigative journalist and television producer", writes:

The new rules expect five to seven year-olds to understand the definition of an algorithm years before they are due to be taught algebra, as well as being able to "create and debug simple computer programs". Once they've grasped this, seven to 11 year-olds will have to code programs "in at least two programming languages".

Willard acknowledges that the current ICT curriculum is broken:

For the last decade or so, computing lessons have been dreadful. ICT has become one of those pathetic subjects like Religious Education: taught by the runts of the teaching litter and seen as pointless by pupils.

Ouch. But teaching everyone how to become programmers is not the answer. Why?

I'm all for people to learning to code – I wrote a piece arguing we should teach it in prisons earlier this year – but I think we need to be aware of its limitations. Coding is a niche, mechanical skill, a bit like plumbing or car repair.

As a subject, it only appeals to a limited set of people – the aforementioned dull weirdos. There’s a reason most startup co-founders are “the charming ideas guy” paired with “the tech genius”. It’s because if you leave the tech genius on his own he’ll start muttering to himself.

Sounds like fighting talk in these parts.

Reg readers, what do you make of this? Head this way to the forums. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.