Author Topic: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor  (Read 154 times)

benali72

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 2592
    • View Profile
"Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« on: September 29, 2017, 10:13:24 PM »
This insightful article argues that the "teaching kids to code" movement isn't about helping the kids, it's about ensuring cheaper IT labor for business --

www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/21/coding-education-teaching-silicon-valley-wages

Some good quotes --

 "A 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – up from only 25% a few years ago.
"

"... wage levels in the tech industry have remained flat since the late 1990s. Adjusting for inflation, the average programmer earns about as much today as in 1998. "




I D Shukhov

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 6201
    • View Profile
Re: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 01:55:36 AM »
And these quotes...

Quote
A former coal miner who becomes a successful developer deserves our respect and admiration. But the data suggests that relatively few will be able to follow their example. Our educational system has long been producing more programmers than the labor market can absorb. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that the supply of American college graduates with computer science degrees is 50% greater than the number hired into the tech industry each year. For all the talk of a tech worker shortage, many qualified graduates simply can’t find jobs.

Quote
But coding is not magic. It is a technical skill, akin to carpentry. Learning to build software does not make you any more immune to the forces of American capitalism than learning to build a house. Whether a coder or a carpenter, capital will do what it can to lower your wages, and enlist public institutions towards that end.
Be Prepared.

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 21723
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
    • View Profile
Re: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 06:09:47 AM »
I agree that teaching kids, macaques, baboons, and household pets to code is entirely about lowering labor costs. I'm looking into a Java school for one of our cats. :P

Seriously - I believe that society and well as the government and policy-makers completely misunderstand programming and coding. Everyone outside this field infers huge power and career upsides with programming skills.

Programming has seriously dumbed-down since the 1980s. The skill level and the sheer work required to develop something useful for commercial purposes is sharply less today than it was in 1985 or 1995. Most common platforms and languages and tools have all become accessible to beginners.

The point is - even for someone who made a career out of software development earlier than the 2000s, there's just not that much high level work to be done.
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.

ilconsiglliere

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 2764
    • View Profile
Re: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 03:38:24 AM »
Of course its about driving down wages. Even though the H1B have completely hammered the field, you can never have enough fresh young meat for corporations to exploit. They have been selling the streets are paved with gold for programming since the 80s. And thats what this teaching kids to code thing is about.

Its not new but here is the reality - the job market for programmers today is much tougher than it was in the 80s. The market is really saturated because of the H1B. There is no shortage of anyone that does anything now. 

What I find interesting is that there is a complete disconnect between what the media says the programming field is versus what its really like. They are selling the streets are paved with gold but after people go to school they discover its not. I know tons of young people who went to school and than bailed out of it after spending a long time unemployed.

Frankly you are better off going to college and than going to learn a trade like plumbing or electrical. There is signficant barriers to entry due to the licensing - that is if you want a licensed plumber or electrician.

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 21723
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
    • View Profile
Re: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 06:43:31 AM »
What I find interesting is that there is a complete disconnect between what the media says the programming field is versus what its really like. They are selling the streets are paved with gold but after people go to school they discover its not. I know tons of young people who went to school and than bailed out of it after spending a long time unemployed.

Exactly. That's what I meant. There's a common assumption that programming creates career momentum and is well respected. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Saying you're a programmer in most business environments is about as powerful as saying that you know how to handle a hacksaw or a wrench.
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.

ilconsiglliere

  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 2764
    • View Profile
Re: "Teaching Kids to Code" is about driving down IT labor
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 11:33:11 AM »
What I find interesting is that there is a complete disconnect between what the media says the programming field is versus what its really like. They are selling the streets are paved with gold but after people go to school they discover its not. I know tons of young people who went to school and than bailed out of it after spending a long time unemployed.

Exactly. That's what I meant. There's a common assumption that programming creates career momentum and is well respected. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Saying you're a programmer in most business environments is about as powerful as saying that you know how to handle a hacksaw or a wrench.

Actually its worse because in most business environments they regard IT people as unnecessary evil to be downsized at the first opportunity. Nobody in business likes IT people and that includes the IT companies.

Take a look whom the executives are in most of these companies - they NEVER come from IT even in technology companies. The vast majority come from marketing, finance and legal.

You are better off handling that hacksaw or wrench. At the very least you know how to get rid of stuff ;) .