I read this article a few weeks and the title is hella triggering. While I see where they’re going, I think a few things are off. With all the talk about how certain jobs in tech are in demand and everyone needs to run, sprint to school to learn all of these critical keys needed to fill the positions – I’ve wondered what will happens when all of use do just that and still don’t get hired.
It’s a risk and a possibility either way and right now I’m choosing not to fixate on it. I’m not really coming into this field just because of the long-term outlook, not that it isn’t important to me – it is. It’s just not the primary motivator for me, while for others it is. It will be frustrating to finish whatever coursework you’ve taken and to end up still jobless or underemployed when everyone said you’d never want for anything if you did xyz & excelled in the field. I mean … look at what’s happening with law school graduates. It’s all a huge risk that we just hope pays off.
But aside from that, the article hinted at how the learning process in this rush to tech may impact career choices:
Quincy Brown, the science-and-technology-policy fellow with the National Science Foundation and a computer-science professor at Bowie State University, agrees with Sweeney that merely knowing how to write code is insufficient. As coding gains prominence in the national discourse, Brown says it’s creating “a false equivalence between computer science and programming [when] they are not the same.” She explains that spotting a problem, identifying the first steps to a solution, and plotting a course to a successful resolution is “the heart of computer science,” stressing that the process differs greatly from learning how to code “just as learning how to read is not the same thing as developing [reading] comprehension.”
If you’ve ever spent a day on twitter, you know that reading comprehension among the US population is not that great. So while these concerns are valid, I think they speak to a larger issue within the education field, not just tech. If schools & businesses changed how they framed learning, as not just the means to a job, then they could focus on making sure the critical thinking required in both reading text & programming were adequate, but we’re not there yet as a society. The should be inextricably tied, once you get to a certain level.
And even for folks who’re only getting involved on a very surface level, that is still incredible. My interests as a kid were piqued by colored scrollbars! COLORED SCROLLBARS! Not my desire to understand the science behind how a browser was even created, but eventually I got there and I think it’s misguided to try to discount the many paths folks may take into tech instead of focusing on how to make sure there are an abundance of resources to support them along the way, considering all of the inequities they’ll face due to race & other social-economic factors.