I can code. It’s just that I code very badly. In school we had Computer Science classes where, using BASIC, the structure and function of programming were taught.
The clue was in the name of the class – it was a science. Exercises were from text books, we would copy the code, run it, and inevitably reread every line to find the typo or misplaced syntax to get it working.
It was slow and a frustrating way to learn code.
Coding is about learning to think in this new world. A means to explore what is possible. Of what you need to do in a world assisted by code.
Coding cannot live in isolation. Rather the exciting stuff happens when coding collides with other interests. With art, with music, with other sciences. That is when coding leads to innovation.
Tom talks of coding as being similar to architecture. Architecture reflects society. Architecture can also shaped by its inhabitants. Coding too, is shaped by its surrounding and is also shapes the world we live.
Teaching kids to code should shift away from copying and reading, to one where children write code according to Tom. To use coding as a creative tool, that allows children to explore its limits much in the same way as giving them a blank piece of paper and some crayons.
I do like the sentiment, my one concern is that learning to copy is a vital step to learning any new craft.
Ultimately coding shouldn’t be a barrier between children and computing. But a liberating creative experience. A tough task. But amen to that ambition.