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I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and work at PlaceIQ.

Good question asked by HIlary Mason, pointed out by Whitney McNamara.

I could not agree more with the sentiment: for all non-engineers learning to code should be approached not as trade education but as a component of a rounded education. The goal here isn’t writing code for production but learning how to talk, think, and work with those that do.

That said: the learn-to-code advocates have been TERRIBLE at communicating this nuance. They focus way too much on the acts, not the ideas.

To start with I’d stop saying the word “code” and remove it from all material. I’d also stop talking about so many proper nouns: Python, Ruby, R, whatever. Thinking is not about coding, it’s about concepts. Even the term ‘computer science’ is better.

It might be worth creating a language designed for understanding computer science thinking, if only to make the point that it’s about thinking 100% explicit. A language designed not for production but for education. A language with the goal of teaching us how to hold conversations with the engineers we work with and think about how one might structure problems so that they might be solved by engineers.

Good question asked by HIlary Mason, pointed out by Whitney McNamara.

I could not agree more with the sentiment: for all non-engineers learning to code should be approached not as trade education but as a component of a rounded education. The goal here isn’t writing code for production but learning how to talk, think, and work with those that do.

That said: the learn-to-code advocates have been TERRIBLE at communicating this nuance. They focus way too much on the acts, not the ideas.

To start with I’d stop saying the word “code” and remove it from all material. I’d also stop talking about so many proper nouns: Python, Ruby, R, whatever. Thinking is not about coding, it’s about concepts. Even the term ‘computer science’ is better.

It might be worth creating a language designed for understanding computer science thinking, if only to make the point that it’s about thinking 100% explicit. A language designed not for production but for education. A language with the goal of teaching us how to hold conversations with the engineers we work with and think about how one might structure problems so that they might be solved by engineers.

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  1. mattty reblogged this from radioon
  2. cs101 reblogged this from notational and added:
    Maybe.
  3. drcabl3 reblogged this from notational and added:
    A short rant: I don’t say “learn to code” any more. I use “systems literature”. I liked “systems literacy”, which I...
  4. radioon reblogged this from pbowden
  5. haunted-server-farm reblogged this from roomthily and added:
    Thank you.
  6. pbowden reblogged this from roomthily and added:
    claps slowly for the rest of time
  7. hawkw reblogged this from roomthily
  8. roomthily reblogged this from notational and added:
    not even remotely about learning about how to talk to those people who can code. that’s just being a condescending...
  9. elioat reblogged this from notational
  10. notational reblogged this from rafaelfajardo
  11. rafaelfajardo reblogged this from dbreunig and added:
    in the classical sense of “humanitas” or “the humanities”
  12. heelyoptile reblogged this from dbreunig
  13. ctrleffyou reblogged this from dbreunig
  14. py-curious reblogged this from dbreunig and added:
    This is a great followup from our last session when we did our first programming challenges with strings. Problems that...
  15. jamgal reblogged this from dbreunig
  16. dbreunig posted this