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"Learn To Code, Get a Job" According To CNN

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-just-that-easy dept.

Education 688

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is running an opinion article that talks about Michael Bloomberg's taking part in CodeAdacemy's CodeYear program, which aims to teach average people to learn enough to work as a Software Developer by year end. I'm trying to not be elitist in judging this article and those involved, but I'm curious as to what /. thinks of this questionable plan."

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Smells like a load (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680922)

of shit.

Whats the big deal? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680926)

How does Code Academy make it any easier to learn to code, Than say documentation or a book? This is hardly a big deal, and they're making silly promises.

Re:Whats the big deal? (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681056)

Exactly. A lame little site with twenty little lessons on Javascript and they have had two slashdot articles already plus a shedload of legacy media coverage just because they snuck Bloomy some preIPO stock or something. Meh.

Re:Whats the big deal? (5, Funny)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681274)

There is an awful lot of need for javascript lackies so that real coders can do real work. bring em'. slap em' when they do badly.

Re:Whats the big deal? (5, Insightful)

omarius (52253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681302)

Elitism: It's what Slashdot's serving for dinner.

Re:Whats the big deal? (5, Insightful)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681292)

Pretty much yeah. Learn enough to be a software developer in a year? Not a chance. You might learn some programming language pretty well in a year but there's no way you can learn the essential skills for professional software development - debugging and breaking down even simple problems to elementary tasks. That takes years of practice because it requires your brain to rewire to allow completely new way of thinking. After a year, you won't be qualified even to work as an assistant to a code monkey, much less a real software developer.

Silly Promises (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681416)

Bloomberg is trying to find an excuse for running for a third term. Any excuse no matter how silly or absurd is better than having people focused on the fact that under his leadership as Mayor the city doesn't actually have a program to train students to become programmers or find work in other professions that can then be guaranteed to given them a good shot at a decent job and thereby boost the city's economy.

Any thinking person might wonder, however, how Bloomberg has the time to learn enough coding skills to help him appreciate what its going to take to actually develop city-wide plans to actually make it easier for coders to find jobs? If this can help in that, its surely worth his time. If nothing materializes in terms of a real jobs program, then this is little more than a publicity stunt. He got himself into this. It will be interesting to see him get himself out.

Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680946)

Not much!

Lean? (4, Funny)

poet (8021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680950)

Don't we want all of our code lean?

Simple is hard (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681014)

Solving real-world software problems requires a lot more than understanding the syntax of a language or two. Those who complete this course and then try to get jobs will learn that lesson the hard way.

Re:Simple is hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681070)

Lay bootyass naked on the floor
Camera pans in, camera pans out
Lay bootyass naked on the floor
Show them all your true power
Show them all your true power
Lay bootyass naked on the floor
Level 150%!

Re:Lean? (5, Funny)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681040)

No, it says lean-to code. As in coding while in a lean-to.

Maybe CNN should lean to speak English?

Re:Lean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681074)

Maybe it means to not sit up straight while coding?

Lean-to (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681100)

I've been in this business for 30 years. Most code I've seen does indeed look like it was designed and written like a "lean-to".... and I have great faith that it will continue to do so as long as I live, and long after I'm gone too.

Re:Lean? (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681236)

It's a reference to Lean manufacturing [] , with the idea that anything more than a few lines of rudimentary Javascript is not value-added and therefore unnecessary for customer satisfaction.

I can see the job interviews now:

What's your alma mater?
What projects have you worked on in the past?
At my last gig, I wrote a program to determine if a number was even or only ten lines!
Wow! So what can you bring to FizzBuzz industries as a software engineer?

Re:Lean? (5, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681312)


The code produced will the architectural equivalent of a "lean-to".

Its like practicing medicine after a first-aid course. Practicing law after watching Judge Judy.

These are the "handymen" of the IT industry.

Relax, guys.

These guys will get the moneymeisters to invest, as they will promise and deliver an inexpensive job.

Once the moneymeister has money invested, he will be easier to talk to as he will now have a vested interest in his investment actually being viable.

You know the story: Haircuts, $1.00. Across the street: We fix bad haircuts, $10.00.

But it gets better. The guy didn't need service at all until he got the buck job.

Re:Lean? (5, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681088)

Lean to spel, get a job as a slasdot editor!

Re:Lean? (5, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681356)

Slashdots sandards are hi for that positron!

Re:Lean? (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681132)

Don't we want all of our code lean?

Not really - I've run into too many coders that think "lean" code is the same as "terse code". They skip comments, compress loops into a single line or use all sorts of other tricks to compress code into a single line, etc. Anything they can do to make their code "lean". Which of course, makes their code write-only.

Re:Lean? (0)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681266)

Skip comments? Good code shouldn't have comments.

Re:Lean? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681336)

Comments, like pretty much everything, are a tool that can be used well, or poorly.

Re:Lean? (0)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681376)

If your code needs comments it is because you have poorly named objects and methods or are trying to do too much in a single method. You recommend reading Clean Code. Then you will lean comments are bad.

Re:Lean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681378)

Obsfucation is a lesson in what not to do even though you can.

It's nearly 10 years since I learned this lesson, but I haven't forgotten it. From the time I wrote a mandelbrot set viewer in as many languages as I could find (limited in zoom by floating point accuracy in said language) and having learned under my own steam the ins and outs of the linux kernel and the function of most of the programs I used in debian. I proceeded to invest my time in other interests and thus forgot more than most people (indeed most CS students) lean about software in their lives.

For the record the Zsh implementation was probably the most interesting. Mostly for the suprise that it could be done in shell script. At that point I wasn't comfortable enough with regex to do it in perl with regex rather than simple arithmetic (shortcutting) or the complex number module (simpler syntax as you'd expect, but lengthy execution time). I Challenge a reader to creat a mandelbrot generator in perl using regex and logic (I'll allow multiplication, but preferably only using "x"). If anybody actually does I bet his name is Ton.

For the record the typo of learn above is deliberate.

Re:Lean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681202)

I don't know but they certainly didn't lean to spell!

Re:Lean? (1)

brumby (93242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681222)

No, they mean 'lean-to' code. As in the software equivalent of getting a builder to build you a house and after 12 months finding you've got a lean-to that will hold a few boxes.
I'm sure we've all had to work on systems like that.

Re:Lean? (1)

todrules (882424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681264)

Maybe the next article should read: "Lean to proofread. Get a job."

Re:Lean? (1)

ACDChook (665413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681304)

And what is CodeAdacemy??

BT,TD,GTTS (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680964)

You can get a job as a software developer in the same sense as a lot of people could go through HTML For Dummies and get jobs as Web Developers. That's great when companies are hungry for anyone even minimally qualified, but it's not going to do much for keeping your job when they start having to actually work with and maintain your work product.

Re:BT,TD,GTTS (4, Insightful)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681122)

This is exactly it. IMHO, coding is equal parts art, ingenuity, and science. Writing great code is no different than trying to write a great trilogy of fiction. Anyone can write garbage, but it takes a mastery of the language itself, and that mastery is just a means to an end--creating something great.

Re:BT,TD,GTTS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681156)

Give a bunch of random people the science, and you'll find people who had the art and ingenuity but didn't know it.


Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681438)

The barrier of entry is also pretty low because all one needs to learn programming is a computer(and everybody has one of those), lots of time, and the internet. The signal-to-noise ratio of homeschooled coders' skill levels is probably pretty high, but it also means that the good ones are given the opportunity to rise to the top. You can get some kid who writes "hello world" out of curiosity, then moves on to crude GUI applications, then goes on to make thousands of dollars a month coding for the RBN and lurking obscure IRC fora.

Becoming a hardware savant, in contrast; requires an oscilloscope, multimeter, one or more DC power supplies, a signal generator, and countless dollars spent on components and boards. Who the hell has access to all of that at the high-school level?

Lean (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680968)

Lean to spell and lose a job at Slashdot.

Well Duh! (0)

WebMasterP (642061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680970)

Just like everyone can learn to dunk, everyone can learn to develop!

"Lean To Proofread, Run Slashdot" According To CNN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680976)

Where do you find these people?

Lean to Code at the Code Adacemy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38680980)

Perhaps we should be learning to spell first?

Lean to spell, samzenpus (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680986)

That about says it.

That's all we need (5, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680990)

One of my pet hates is working with programmers who are doing it only because they need a job. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be here if I didn't get paid, but programmers without passion for what they do write lousy and uninspired software. People with passion are unlikely to end up in such a scheme, so I don't really see a big benefit.

Re:That's all we need (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681094)

It's like when you visit the dentist who hates being a dentist...

Re:That's all we need (4, Funny)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681124)

Little Shop of Horrors teaches us that going to a dentist who loves being a dentist isn't necessarily a good thing...

Re:That's all we need (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681180)

Sadists become dentists, programming is for the masochists.

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681412)

whats not to love about dentistry? you get to numb people up, drill away dirty teeth and tell people what they should be doing with their mouths.

Re:That's all we need (1)

sidthegeek (626567) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681108)

This is true for most professions.

Re:That's all we need (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681114)

I used to love my job. The passion is gone. If I didnt get paid for it I would probably still do it. But very rarely.

But *most* people can program. Sorry to let you down like this. 99% of the time these days you are just googling and gluing libraries together. It is a *rare* thing to use comp sci skills to do things. Working with cheap overseas labor has taught me this. No one cares about quality. They care about cost.

Every once and awhile I whip out the ol mojo and write some seriously cool code. But most of my co-workers dont get it. So I dumb it down. After working with ego maniacs, loosers, crappy coders, and so on over the years you dont care anymore.

Re:That's all we need (4, Insightful)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681260)

*most* people can program

I dare you to do a week of first-line desktop support *anywhere* and come out with that belief intact.

Lots of people set their thermostat above the temperature they want just so they can turn it down when it gets too hot, even when they fully understand how a heater works.

Re:That's all we need (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681344)

I don't understand the problem with the heater. If you like turning a heater down when it gets too hot, what's the better solution?

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681430)

Well to be fair, it depends on the exact PID algorithm in use by the thermostat. If you've got a crappy one, you might be better off turning the temperature above the desired setting and then adjusting it manually once it reaches the temp. you like.

I once had a horribly-designed thermostat which was prone to extreme ringing effects when the room temperature approached the desired setting.

Then again, I'm a physicist and understand this shit.

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681116)

I think we'd all like people to be passionate about their job, but then they wouldn't call it a job now would they?

I think the article has a larger point to make than just the "learn to code and get a job" part, a child born today is touched by technology in every facet of their lives from second 1. As a matter of education policy, it makes sense to try and promote a basic understanding of that technology for us to stimulate the ideas economy and the greater world around us.

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681160)

Add a zero to the end of my salary and see just how passionate I can get!

Re:That's all we need (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681272)

To be good at any type of knowledge or artisan work, a person has to have some level of personal curiosity or interest in what the job involves. My guess is that most of the people who attend this event are doing because they want/need a job. The kind of person I would be interested in hiring would already be doing some programming in his or her free time. There will be a few people who attend who will discover that programming is something they really enjoy, but that group will be a small minority. OTOH, many others will find they dislike programming and will stay away from it.

Hopefully someone is going to track the results over time. Maybe a few of the attendees with initiative will create a database app to do just that.

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681314)

Welcome to the world young man! Someone not being happy or passionate at ANY job will do it lousy and be uninspired. What makes programming any different? The grumpy single mom on the phone at the doctors office makes everyone angry too customers and coworkers included.

Programming is not a hard trade to get into, the tools of the trade are free and everywhere. You can test and practice the skill at NO cost other than having a computer and a desire. Your idea of a "good programmer" is subjective. Based on the cross section of programmers I read comments from on slashdot, everyone here is an outstanding programmer and everyone else is not.

That's all we need-Cowboys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681320)

Passion? Is that another word for I like to be a cowboy programmer but I don't want to deal with the "lousy and uninspiring" grunt work to maintain it?

Re:That's all we need (1)

EasyRhino (109776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681346)

Variety is the spice of life. Some of the most productive programmers I know were simply doing it because it was a "good" career. Passion and excitement are not pre-requisites for recognizing and pursuing excellence.

Re:That's all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681422)

Mmmm yes. I have a gigantic passion for writing banking software.

seems feasible to me (4, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680992)

Lots of people learn to code on their own from books, online articles and magazines (I did). Surely even a little guidance could kickstart the process the process for a reasonable and motivated candidate.

I've met these people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681004)

There is something about a good programmer. I can only tell you that it seems that they would program whether they got paid for it or not. If you don't have that desire, you never really become a good programmer. People who think, "hmmm... programming, that pays well" are barking up the wrong tree. They may survive in a forgiving atmosphere. If everyone is really lucky, the move quickly into management where they can't do as much harm.

This will probably work. (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681006)

I've worked with plenty of people who had 5+ years of "experience" who perform at the competency level of a 1st year coder. Especially in very large companies I've found that the day-to-day tasks are usually designed to shield the employees from any apparent consequences of their own incompetence or any risk of becoming competent. Typically, 90% of the job is just being attractive and good-smelling enough that your co-workers can be nice to you without trying hard.

2600 condones this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681008)

One year is plenty of time to learn to write crappy code.

It'll be funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681012)

It will make for some good comedy when we start getting CV's coming through from all this. Unfortunately, the signal : noise ratio is just going to make it harder for properly qualified candidates to get noticed.

Off by one error (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681026)

Average users have a hard enough time even using software competently after a year's time. Let alone creating it.

Just think about many people still don't know how to find something simple like the control panel in XP after all these years...

It's oh so much fun (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681038)

trying to fix or maintain code written by some half-ass amateur that got a certification or read a few books and "taught himself to code" in one month. The only thing better is when it's someone from management that does it because "coding is easy".

Re:It's oh so much fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681294)

People end up paying my company good money for me to fix and maintain that code. I call it job security

Just what we need... (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681044)

Someone making promises that are fake but will reinforce uneducated PHB's

"Why should we pay you more? anyone can become a expert coder by studying at home part time for a year."

Re:Just what we need... (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681326)

Learn to write in one year through a free interactive web site, and get a job at CNN. That's what I did!! Even billionaire-politician Michael Bloomberg, my hero, is learning his letters as we speak. Rumor has it, he'll become a proficient Bloomberg journalist by next week.
- Rushkoff

If you can read this, you can get a good job. (3, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681046)

I remember first semester freshman year. The weed-out EE course was full of bright-faced eager kids convinced they were gonna get a good paying job when they graduated.
2 weeks later the class size was cut in half when they found out how much work was involved.
Anyone can learn to write a "Hello World" program but that doesn't make them a software professional.

Well of course... (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681048)

...everyone knows that if you will just take a few weeks to learn to program, you can start making 60k or more a year within a month or two.

Ok, granted, this story wasn't quite THAT bad, and the idea that everyone should take a few weeks to learn what programming IS, the concepts, is probably a good idea. However, the idea that you can learn to be a programmer in one year is foolish. I've never had any formal training, self taught in Perl, javascript, some PHP, and been doing it as a minor part of my job for 15 years, and I'm not a programmer. Having at least moderate skills, to understand what a shell script or batch file is, what HTML code is and does, will help you in your job, but you aren't going to start creating more real programmers with one year, even if that is all they do is learn 24/7 for that year.

What there is a shortage of is people with MORE than one year of training as a programmer. People who can write good code, instead of the bloated crap that I write to just get the job done. But that isn't what this article is about, it is about promising something that won't happen, that learning a little coding will guarantee you a job. It won't help a forklift driver, someone used to working on an assembly line that is now part of a closed factory, or half the people looking for work now. It will do them personally good to understand a little, but it won't be the cure for our unemployment.

Unemployment is high right now, not because companies can't find good people, but because companies are afraid to take on the responsibility (and liability) of expanding and hiring until they absolutely have to, due to a messed up political and financial environment.

In a year? (4, Interesting)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681068)

Sorry, but I've been at it for about that long (learning Java) and I'm nowhere near qualified to do it professionally. Sure, I know the syntax and I have a good understanding of OOP but there's a LOT more for me to learn before I can write software people will actually find useful.

I love programming and I love learning about it. The discouraging part is that there is almost ZERO entry-level work in programming. All the ads I see demand "3-5 years experience", but that's another story.

Re:In a year? (3, Informative)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681126)

The beautiful thing about programming is that, relative to other professions, it is PAINFULLY simple to get those 3-5 years. Most of the time it doesn't even need to be at a professional workplace, as long as you can demonstrate growth or meaningful contributions. Work on open source projects. Do internships. Make software for yourself. Program robots. Automate your home. Tweak your kernel or window manager. Script some events. Just keep doing it, and in no-time you will have 3-5 years of experience. Heck, an intern where I work programmed his own server monitoring software for his own use, on his own free time, before he had even heard of us, and now the entire company uses it.

Re:In a year? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681158)

And yes, I know that isn't 3-5 years in a professional environment, but it is at least 3-5 years of programming. Proving you are capable is the first step towards learning how the professionals would do it. For example, I never worked with forms or databases before, nor had used SVN, nor Eclipse, but I knew enough coding they were impressed and hired me.

Re:In a year? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681238)

I went from "junior" to "senior" Java Developer in about a year. That was about 3 years ago. I did start self-teaching somewhere in the early 90's though. My entry in to the developer job role was facilitated by getting an "Application Support" role and voicing my aspirations to my manager.

Re:In a year? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681410)

You may be looking in the wrong places. Most small companies don't have room to let people start at the bottom. For an entry level position, medium to large companies are a more likely success. Google, for example, is hiring people straight out of college like crazy right now. Apple and facebook are also.

Who needs coders? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681076)

We already have too many coders at my current employer, what we need are software developers that know how to architect a maintainable system.

I smell a pile of low cost poor quality cowboys... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681092)

I smell a pile of low cost poor quality cowboys coming onto the market and underbidding the competent contractors. Works for me as my job tends to be cleaning up after someone who vastly exaggerated their abilities and got in too deep on a project they dont understand.

Here we go... (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681096)

main ()
printf )"Hello World! I am now a Software Developer!\n");

Congratulations, here is your certificate of completion.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681154)

No certificate for you until you figure out why that won't even compile.

Re:Here we go... (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681220)

No certificate for you until you figure out why that won't even compile.

loop until realization(errors)==sarcasm

Re:Here we go... (1)

xski (113281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681404)

If it helps any, I got it.

Re:Here we go... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681268)

It's because he spelled print wrong, what a putz.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681256)

Syntax error in Hello World? Really?

two major points to the article (5, Insightful)

binarstu (720435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681112)

A major argument of the opinion piece is that having at least a rudimentary understanding of how computers and software actually work is increasingly important, and that learning some programming is a good way to accomplish that. I doubt anyone here would argue with that.

The second half of the article, while not explicitly saying it, does suggest that if a person spends a little time learning to code they'll magically get an awesome ("high-paying", in the words of the author) job. This is a major oversimplification, at least. The author provides no convincing evidence that this is true, except for a quote from his CEO friend.

Obligatory "you kids get off my lawn" (5, Insightful)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681152)

Peter Norvig's "Teach Yourself To Programming In Ten Years" []

Pretty much sums it up. There have also been many posters so far that have mentioned you can't just "make" someone a programmer. They have to want it, to enjoy it and to already "be" a programmer in mind and spirit. Same goes for the new British thing of forcing gradeschool kids to learn programming. Having it available as an option would be great, but forcing them into it won't give you more programmers, much less good ones. Meanwhile, all the kids that were going to become programmers will still do it whether you encourage them or not. Simple as that.

Surely the "Lean" up above is a typo, but there is a serious problem of late with Slashdotters and their spelling and grammar abilities. People who learned English as a second or third language get a pass, but for all you up and coming kids who are native speakers, what the fuck?

(my two hamfisted cents. I'm going back to Skyrim)

You know what? (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681170)

/Be/ elitist. Go ahead, it's justifiable. Bust 2.0 (1)

still-a-geek (653160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681184)

If you want to see Bust 2.0, this will contribute to it. Do you remember the era? Most of those people with no technical or coding background who tried to learn how to code in 1 year (or less) and obtained some flea-bag certificate were the first ones to be let go. And yes, there were a lot of them. Without having the fundamentals of data structures, coding style, documentation skills, and good logic and problem solving skills, those new "coders" will have a very short career, if any. Most companies learned their lesson from 1.0.

Learn to be a pro.... (1)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681206)

.....air conditioner repairman in a few interactive web sessions per week for a year? chef at a 5 star greasy spoon? TV sitcom writer ? What professionals (esp unions) would be insulted by such a trivializing of their careers? Computers are the most complex machines every devised. How good could such a 'professional' be? (claimer: I am pro developer)

Re:Learn to be a pro.... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681444)

Even some "Pro" air conditioner repairman are little more than scrip checklist guys who don't really understand the concepts.

I am Not an AC guy, but am self taught when I worked in cryptology, we maintained our stuff as much as possible to limit shutting down operations so outsiders can service the systems.

One boss I had was having trouble with a brand new heat pump install on a house boat. It has a freon/water heat exchanger. Power consumption was high and the winter heat output was low. The factory rep was having a huge problem with the system and thought it had a bad reversing valve.

I asked to look at it. The "Pro" tried charging the system using gauge pressure forgetting the fact the water heat exchanger was much more effective, so when he had the pressure up to what he expected for an air exchanger, the system was massively overcharged. This flooded the high side coil so very little of it was used for heat transfer.

  I asked permission to adjust the charge before they wrote off the reversing valve and it fixed most of the issue. I told them due to the water heat exchanger resulting in lower pressure, a larger expansion valve orifice could be used to bring system capacity back to normal. An expansion valve about 25% larger (3 ton system now has a 4 ton expansion valve) was installed. This allowed the same volume of freon to be delivered with the lower pressure. The efficiency increased and cut the power consumption with a low run duty cycle.

Sometimes a tech that understands the theory can do a better job than the "Pro" engineer that doesn't have a solid grasp of the theory.

Coding is the same. Some people have a grasp of the code language but don't have a good grasp anticipating bugs in the code leaving it open for exploits and glitches.

A good coder can see potential pitfalls and can program around them reducing faults.

Ridiculous Assumption (0, Flamebait)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681210)

It is a ridiculous assumption to believe that the intellectual capacity of an "average" person is sufficient to write software let alone quality software. It is even more ridiculous to believe that you can rewire the "average" human mind inside of a year to be able to think in the logic and manner necessary to express and solve problems through source code. Normal people's brains just don't work that way and is just as unnatural and foreign if not more so than placing a modern day smart phone in the hands of your 90 year old grandma. It is something that takes years of basement dwelling to cultivate.

Yes and No (1)

erik.erikson (1821660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681212)

We all started somewhere and frankly, if this drives some people to better contribute to themselves and the world or even just find the niche in life they've always wanted to be in, we'll have seen an excellent consequence.

A year of independent course work is unlikely to be enough to teach the automata theory/set theory/discrete mathematics/et cetera (ad infinitum) that is vital to developing a core understand of what one is interacting with in professional coding much less the various other "softer" disciplines required to know how to write code of a high level of quality. That said, even with many years of university, employment, and success behind me I am continuously learning, expanding, and refining myself. The risk, of course, is that low quality coders could result.

To counter-balance again, I generally like working on the harder and more interesting problems and this means that team members who are intimidated by those and as a result are happier with their job when doing the work that I do mostly because it needs to get done can be a godsend to my own happiness at work. Developing a mentoring relationship with such individuals has additionally been really gratifying.

At least they'll be sort-of trained (1, Insightful)

WRX SKy (1118003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681216)

In all honesty, it can't be much worse than the crap our India "consultants" crank out...

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681244)

Learn on me! When you're not strong!!! I'll be your coder!!! I'll help you data mine!

I Support the Left.... (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681280)

"But I'm leanin', leanin' to the Right. "

from the song "Politician" on the album by Cream Wheels of Fire

Lyrics here []

Listen to it here []

Not a singularity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681290)

At first I was gonna write a long diatribe about the various economic sectors of where coders can exist, and of what type, and where things might be going in the coming years, but dong that as a rebuttal to this article was just going to infuriate me.

How many new coding jobs do we really need in the US? And of what type? I'd say more is better, but I'm not sure I believe that is best for any sector, much less coding.

Yes competition is good, but competition for its own sake is not. In the arena, quality, efficient and secure code is what's good. Or so I've been led to believe after the infinite amount of updates and troubleshooting I've done over the years. And that code, takes time and experience. I've never heard of any rookie coder, who could automatically compete with someone with 5-10+ years of experience. Is that what they're subliminally arguing?

Are they trying to tell me adding another 300,000 people to the coding pool, most likely all JS coders, is somehow gonna improve us economically, or jump-start the unemployment decrease? Not on your life.

Perhaps my view is a bit dis-enfranchised because I've been doing IT for 12 years, and personally, don't care to code for fun at all. Can I? Absolutely. And indeed for work, I fix others code, modify existing, and brain-storm w/ others who code all the time. However, I do not, and will not consider myself a coder of ANY specific language. Nor would I put anything specific, on my resume. I know lots of theory, some practice, and quite a bit of Q/A.

I see it as just another tool in the tool-chest. It's good if people can capitalize on it, however, having 300,000 people who can add 'JavaScript or C++ coder' to their resume, just puts the HR drones on alert for anyone who doesn't explicitly mention those letters.

Mod me to hell, but how many different languages are there out there? What's the 'next big language'? Right now it seems to be JavaScript. I'll keep perl, regex, c++, and some assembly close to my heart if I detrimentally wind up in the coding pool. Everything else, can well, be left to the huddled masses.

worked for me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681340)

Bought some books, taught myself to touch type, took some advanced computer courses at college and about a year later I got a job as a software developer. Worked 80 hour weeks to keep the job and about three years later finally got really good at it. Sure I was smart, but success is 90% effort, people. I still find that systems are think, fail, retry, rethink, fail again, try again, good enough, refactor, keep trying ... success.

Re:worked for me (1)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681398)

success = failures + 1; // how to be good at any job.

Don't learn to spell, get a job at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681384)

This site is becoming increasingly worthless with each passing day.

I don't know where you people who staff the place were educated, but you are
some pathetic examples of "how not to do it".

And your HTML coding SUCKS, too.

You get no respect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681386)

In 2007 when I completed my Master's degree in Computer Science (I returned to get that degree after having been in the field for 20 years), I had a chat with one of my professors. He told me how not long prior to that time the computer science department saw a HUGE influx of students in the intro courses...and very few of them stayed. He said that through discussions with the students, they determined that the influx of students was caused by everyone suddenly wanting to write computer games. The sudden exodus was caused by everyone learning that it actually takes a lot of effort to learn what you need to know to write a decent game.

People just don't really respect (which is different from understanding) what it takes to develop decent software.

Many years ago, a company I had engaged in freelance work with for years asked me for a quote on a new product. They did not like my price (which was well below what it was going to cost me). One of the senior management team made sure I got the message that he had a sixth grader that could do the work instead of me. I politely responded that if their six grader could do the work with little to no pay, then they would be total fools not to take advantage of that. I didn't get the job, and four months later guess who called me back because their project had fallen apart? Oh, and guess who was no longer with the company?

Anyway, software is a crazy field. Forgive me for bastardizing the scriptures, but it is a field where "many are called, but few are chosen"...

You guys are nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681392)

You guys are nuts. 99% of programming is simple repetitive drudgery. It doesn't take a genius to to make an inventory system, an interactive web page, or any of the projects 99% of you work on. Be honest. You're gluing a few libraries and system calls together to do something that is probably not all that useful anyway.

Meanwhile all girls who love animals are now vets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681402)

Meanwhile all girls who love animals are now vets.

Anybody can Make an App and a Million Dollars... (1)

esten (1024885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681432)

...with as much predictability as winning the lotto.

Grab a scalpel learn to be a surgeon in 30 days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681436)

Subject says it all

Lean Coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38681442)

Lean coding techniques just in time to program the Raspberry Pi. I like it.

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