Not Everyone Should Code


79,840 dollars: The average salary of a computer programmer in America. Average meaning many can afford a big fancy house or rent a closet in San Francisco. Even the lowest paid ten percent make more than the average American. Programming is so well paid because it’s so in demand and so in demand because it’s growing so quickly in importance. But it’s more than a trend. Surely it’s the inevitable direction of things, right? Say something big like programming is the future and people conclude that fast forward 20 years if you don’t know how to program, Well, good luck getting a job at McDonald’s But as long as there are jobs, economic laws say people will specialize and there’s no reason to think programming is any different. A valuable skill to learn? Absolutely, and more so every day. In the way of reading and writing? Not even close. Not everyone should code, and saying otherwise may only harm those you intend to help. The biggest fans of “everyone should code” are politicians and technology companies, and that’s no coincidence. To a politician, more of any job that means more taxes, more spending, more everything good. and programming jobs pay especially well, so they’re especially loved But there’s also something unique about these jobs in particular. Technology companies, often started by programmers, have international influence like no one else. If someone is going to pull the world’s financial and emotional levers, and unfortunately, we know they are, you as a politician want them in your country. He who regulates the technology company, regulates the world. America’s power, as home to so many global technology giants, is hard to underestimate. Few companies have so much financial and cultural influence. Imagine America’s reaction if instead they were based in, I don’t know, say Russia. People like President Obama are so vocal about coding because they understand its potentials. So does China. they’ve decided it’s too high a price to pay. And for technology companies, “everyone should code” is “everyone should flood the market with the skills we need”. But it’s not all self-interest. There’s also a dangerous mix of good intentions and the dunning-kruger effect. Seeing trends, it’s easy to make a prediction. It won’t be long before nearly all jobs require programming, and the solution is to encourage an already financially troubled generation to pursue the high-paying safe job of computer programming But a little bit of foresight can be more dangerous than none at all. Seeing the potential of programming, without knowing what it’s really like. Programmers do make a lot of money. But so do surgeons. actually three times as much. and dentists, and psychologists, and lawyers So why is programming treated in a way surgery isn’t? because we’re told it’s not just another trade, But an essential skill like reading and writing, and if it is then it totally should be required in every school. But if not -and I don’t think it is- then it’s just one admittedly pretty good career path of many. could anyone perform surgery? given enough time and training, yeah, maybe, but people have different talents. Surgery may be in high demand But we know it’s not for everyone. in fact specialization is good. It’s the reason we have computers at all. Every single one of us could be completely self-reliant But you’re probably not going to be the best hunter, cobbler, cook, engineer, and scientist in the world When you have to do everything you can be good at nothing, so how about this? You get really good at farming, I’ll make bricks and we can trade. This way we can both have really nice stuff. That’s the basis for civilization! And you might say, well both farmers and masons still need to read and write, but programming can’t be such a skill. It’s difficult enough that it just doesn’t make economic sense for everyone to learn it, unless or until robots take over everything jobs need done. more and more will involve computers, but it won’t be doctors and teachers programming them, because as long as programmers get better at programming, and teachers get better at teaching, by each sticking to their crafts, they will. So as far as jobs go, It’s so really good one, but it is just a job, not a basic universal skill A good teacher can take a complicated topic, Deconstruct it, and explain it in easier terms. To make accessible is necessarily to simplify But it’s really easy to do what looks identical, but actually oversimplifies. in fact, That’s the challenge of YouTube. don’t simplify, and you have a boring two-hour video. Over simplify, and you paint a misleading picture. In its enthusiasm to make programming accessible, “everyone should code” does exactly that. Tap-tap-tap, that’s programming! definitely not sitting at a desk for long hours solving problems. Here’s the thing; whether you’ve been to college or have any programming experience, You can pay a company to teach you how to code in 14 weeks. And for not that much money. That should be a huge red flag. if you can become a developer in 14 weeks, either companies overpay for what’s really a simple job, or there’s actually much more to it. And of course there is. It’s the difference between programming and computer science. the first you really can learn in 14 weeks. You can read it in a book. its memorizing what to type to make a computer do a thing. That’s what “everyone should code” teaches. But it claims the benefits of computer science; solving efficient creative mathematical problems. That’s what companies pay six-figure salaries for. and if that’s your thing, awesome! In fact, I’m one of those people. but many, maybe most wouldn’t actually enjoy it. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach programming, but it has to be honest it can be accessible and inclusive, but not misleading. Stem is also cheered for the money, but that too attracts the wrong people. It would be awesome if teachers were paid more, but one benefit of what we have, is how it selects for people passionate about the job, not just after a paycheck. Lots of people go into computer science just for the money, but they may end up hating it, and the irony is when you sell people on an unrealistic job, supply rises and salaries fall because you might imagine a huge team of people behind every tech company, but very few are actually engineers When Instagram had 7 million users, it had four employees Four. As in, 4.0. There will be more demand for programming, but not unlimited demand. So we might as well attract who’s actually interested. Programming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and adding too much sugar will only make it extra bitter when they find out what it’s really like. Maybe programming isn’t for everyone, but neither is history, or music, or art And we all take those classes in school. Surely there are other benefits to learning programming. There’s no doubt programming teaches skills like problem-solving and creative thinking. But this puts the cart before the horse. if you’re already sold on the importance of programming, it’s easy to see everything through that lens. Coding is a way to understand our world and think differently. But if those are the skills we care about let’s find the best way to teach them. If we suddenly have 60 minutes of school to spare, I’d suggest a class on personal finance or critically consuming media or speaking. The class with the biggest impact on my life was debate, and critical thinking is much needed. Coding classes should be available for those interested, but not as a requirement. Because everyone learns differently, and at a different pace, and likes different things. I know my high school didn’t teach all the subjects I wanted to learn, [AD] but that’s what’s so great about Skillshare. It’s an online learning community for you. Maybe you’re interested in animation in which case you can learn from the Masters themselves, the Kurzgesagt (In A Nutshell) team. They give you graphics to work with, so you can download them follow along and make a fantastic video So if you want to make a video like this one or even better, Skillshare is a great way to get a head start. If you are interested in programming or want to find out if you are they have classes that can ease you into it But it’s the real deal that will help you really understand a computer science with classes like this one Which teach you all the big concepts behind computing. You can also ask questions, download content and submit your work, but you’re not locked into structured classes And you don’t have to pay per class so you’re free to learn exactly what you want how much you want And by who you want There are a ton of classes on pretty much any topic so you can pick which one works best for you. With an annual subscription, Skillshare is less than $10 a month, or you can just try it out. The first 500 people to use the link in the description will get their first two months for free and risk free. Thanks to Skillshare and to everyone who supports the channel by using the link

100 thoughts on “Not Everyone Should Code”

  1. SkillShare link is https://skl.sh/polymatter4 – I was kinda amazed to find out Kurzgesagt (In a Nutshell) has a SkillShare course on animation 😮

  2. 79k is so little. We should be making like 150k on average, but everyone's underpaid except Bill Gates so whatever.

  3. As an electrical engineer the extent of my programming knowledge is knowing universal language and copying and pasting libraries into arduino software lol

  4. I think everyone should at least be introduced to programming in school so they at least know what it is. It can also be very useful for solving small utility problems

  5. damn, and here in lithuania most programmers make about 700-800 euros, the highest i saw with 10 years of experience makes about 1800

  6. "coding classes should be avaliable for those who are interested but not as a requirement"
    yeah ,and why the hell art,music, and other useless subjects are reuqirements? the biggest problem why i hate school

  7. If we suddenly had an extra 60 minutes of school, I would look at unlocking a woefully absent concept: empathy and compassion.

  8. So I am in my bachelor (Netherlands) for computer science. And I agree with the programming part but I disagree about the way of thinking. Ever since I started with programming my look on the world changed. Why? Not the programming itself but it is the way of dealing with a problem. I think the problem solving part should be a required class and not for programming but for average stuff. After some time you can see things more critically and start solving problems for more directions and not just your personal need.

  9. Programming should be part of the curriculum, for two reasons:
    1. It teaches systemic thinking and abstract problem solving. Or at the very least introduces people to these.
    2. Shows people how technology, which is part of everyone's life, works.
    Not saying everyone should be a programmer or even proficient at coding. But some introduction and general knowledge should be mandatory.

  10. What a irony, this video says that none should program because it hard and take a long time and sponsor skillshare that make you learn it in 10 lessons

  11. This video isn't for me maybe because i love programing and its my dream to become the BEST programer that i can, but anyway you are right not every one should program,but i think that is not something that a child of just 14 years old can justo say like that… Nice video mate keep the good work 😉

  12. I should have studied Doctor. Hate i studied programming now. With these crappy teaching. I started going CSE and its like teach yourself!!. Its like i go to college to teach myself so i couldget degree

  13. 5:55

    This argument is terrible and needs to die. It means people with the skills to teach are actively discouraged from the career. I can't raise a family on a teacher's salary.

    Imagine if you said "we should pay coders less because that way we will only have the most passionate programmers"

    Nope, it means you remove competition. If teaching paid well, we would have more people competing to teach, improving the average teacher.

    Fuck

  14. I think YOU shouldn't code because you put a fucking apple monitor in the thumbnail when anyone with a brain knows that apple sucks

  15. I DON'T agree with this video. If you want to learn to code, you should. I make quite a decent living off my apps even though I'm studying in a completely different field. Coding is really useful if you want to automate parts of your life.

    I highly recommend Automate the Boring Stuff with Python book! It's free and teaches a lot. Also subscribe to my youtube channel I will be making programming videos on there!

  16. My opinion is everyone should learn peogramming to the same level they learn poetry. Poetry is ment to make you more openminded. Learning basic programming will give you a better logical mindset and help you solve complex problems with focus and intent.
    Programming IS NOT ABOUT CODE!

  17. Ploymatter: Not Everyone Should Code Beacuse Millions Of People Are Struggling With Learning

    Scratch Users: Allow Us To Introduce Ourselves

  18. The title is misleading. Everyone should know how to code, know how apps, operating systems, networking etc. works. Why not?

  19. Your video is of high quality, but I disagree with its message. Coding, abstractly speaking, is a way to instruct computers. Computers are all around us, everyone deals with them. Being able to instruct the computers around you is just invaluable.

    How efficiently and in which way we instruct these computers is a different topic though.
    Coding does not neccessarily mean to be an expert on assembly language. For me, it means to know efficient ways to solve problems involving computers. That can be Excel, Word Macros, JavaScript, or IFTTT.

    Also, coding is very accessible and as easy as opening a website. Being a dentist, a surgeon or a lawyer isn't at all.

  20. 05:30 the dichotomy is incorrect. The left side should be "coding", and left side should be "programming" or "software engineering". Computer Science by itself is much more theoretical, and relates to all of the above.

  21. Your video is biased by the fact that it's actually an advertisement for the company you're mentioning.
    Here are also the real reasons why everyone should have the basic skills of programming.

    You took example of music, history etc. But interestingly enough, you didn't mention Math.
    It's because Math is such a versatile and pluridisciplinar skill that you use everywhere
    And that's actually the reason why everyone should learn how to program, or at least get the basics of computer logics.
    Two main reasons : we use computers today for everything including in surgery, dentistery etc. So of you're working on anything, there is a very good chance that you'll have to work with computers and eventually think of a program which will make your work easier just because you know what computer programming can solve. You won't be the ones to program, but you'll know what it can resolve.
    Also, you were talking about being taught critical sense etc. Simply put, knowing how computers works will help you figure out what kind of shit the media's could say : you wouldn't believe what they're saying about deep learning if you knew how it actually works. Just like geography or history is supposed to give you some keys in understanding our world

    Simply put : computers are so much entangled in our life that understanding how it works, even just the basics, is a requirement

  22. And this is exactly why it is HARMFUL to push STEM on women.  Obviously, it should be available to them if they choose it on their own, but most women would not naturally choose a STEM career.

  23. I made my own calculator on Little Big Planet. And I had a lot of fun doing it. I considered programming, but it takes sooo much time.

  24. Computer science should be taught to everyone like other stem subjects should be taught.
    Plus Coding is the easy part of learning to code the harder stuff is making complex algorithms to get something to do a task. Heck I know even science such as physics majors forced to learn to code in uni to stand a chance in STEM. Not all jobs need coding but do all jobs need maths? Not all jobs need a lot of maths but many do. Computer science is litrally problem solving and thinking critically which is something we all need.
    An example of an easy yet moderately challenging task for people who dont do comp sci would be make instructions to tell someone how to never loose and always win tick tack toe. Comp sci is just changing that person to a computer and changing the writing syntax to look a bit different. Same process of a flow chart in steps and saying person does this then… With thinking like this so many problems would be solved and can be applied to other subjects and fields.

  25. 2:47 I disagree – the reason why programming is treated differently is because it's something new and exciting to the general public – we have seen these great meteoric rises of programmers starting in the early 2000s, and that is what makes people more excited about it than other jobs which we all know and aren't in any way new.

  26. I was starting to believe in your argument, that is, until you contradicted yourself by offering a “skillshare” class in the end of the video.

  27. So classes to become a programmer? How do teachers simulate tedious product meetings with management where you sit for 2 hours with no outcome and then people pressuring you into doing bullshit 5 minute fixes instead of proper fixes?

  28. i did like the video and as a software developer i agree with a lot of things you're saying. that seamless transition into an ad was really disgusting though, i don't mind there being a clear cut to advertise some service but this way it seems like it's still part of the informational video.

  29. What does it mean when your coding has reached a era of excellence. That not even the wealthiest teams of crooks can detect that you are on their servers 24/7..

  30. What get's forgotten in the discussion is how tedious coding can be.
    Yes, there is the sense of achievement in overcoming challenges, but the task it self is quite dull as a day to day action.
    I don't mind learning how different code works and what can be done with it, but I could never endure the tedium that would come with being a programmer.

  31. Well yeah, not everyone should learn how to make incredible programs. However, last time I had around 2100 files of movies,tv shows, and songs. I didnt know the functions i needed to use, yet it took me around 15 minutes to find system.io and regex uses on c# and build a simple program (15 lines of code), now everything is perfectly ordered in directories. And that is one of many things you can do with only the basics,and a little bit of google and stackoverflow.

  32. 5:28 horseshit. One out of a thousand or less are actually solving problems. Everyone else is writing glue code and implementing other peoples ideas. programmers are in deep denial about this, even though few programmers even make it to a 1970s level of programming knowledge. If you can build a lego kit you can code, they are identical skillsets.

  33. I think you’re blowing the whole everyone should code thing way out of proportion. There are a shortage of trained and qualified programmers in the US, thus many are imported. Obviously, there is a push to get more American kids interested in computer science.. in my experience, the only kids that continue coding etc. after the little intro class they may make you take are the kids who are really passionate about it, some of whom may have not gotten into it without that class.

    The idea of these intro programming classes in school isn’t so kids learn to code. It’s so they have a basic understanding of how the tech we use everyday and in every job work. If a kid really really likes programming after that class, they continue on. Just like if a kid takes a history class and really loves it, maybe they decide to pursue history in college.

    Schools require us to take history classes, usually many of them. This isn’t because they think everyone should be a historian. It’s so kids have a basic understanding of their world and how it came to be, how it works. The same is true with the average coding curriculum in US schools. They aren’t having kids take the class so everyone drops all their other interests and becomes a full time programmer. They’re doing it to give kids a basic understanding about how our world works, and, maybe throw in a few benefits like learning to think logically and solve complex problems, use some applied math, etc.

    More and more, I see people taking positions that argue against kids being forced to take basically any class that doesn’t directly relate to their careers and I think this is wrong. No one is saying that because a single little intro coding class is now a required course, that everyone can and should now become programmers. They’re just putting coding up on the level of some other required courses, like history, that while they may not be 100% necessary to all kids on all career paths, nonetheless expose kids to an interesting topic, and at least offer them an introduction to what is undeniably an increasingly important field.

    I took one of those classes, and I decided to major in journalism. Come to find out, in journalism these days, some coding knowledge is pretty essential, as well as the use of massive databases, etc. That class I took several years back made these things less scary, and gave me an edge over some of the kids who had zero exposure the things like HTML.

    If kids are required to go to gym class, and required to take a psychology class (despite only a tiny percentage becoming athletes or psychologists), I think there’s plenty of justification to promote coding to kids and require at least some kind of basic programming course somewhere in the curriculum. No one is being told they literally must be a programmer. Like anything else, it is pointed to as an industry with potential and opportunity for many, and the kids that really love computers will be the ones to pursue it. I’m never going to be a historian, but I’m glad I took the gazillion history classes that were required over the years. They helped give me a better understanding of my world. So did that basic programming course. Those introductions got me interested, and while I didn’t become a programmer or historian, I did pursue learning about both subjects on my own time, on sites like Khan Academy, and in numerous history books.

    Knowledge is good to have.

  34. Everyone can make a button on a website that says "Hello World!" when you click on it.
    It takes an actual programmer to be willing to read a whitepaper on the optimal subdivision of rectilinear polygons and convert the authors mathematical psuedocode into an actual usable algorithm for an application.

  35. Coding is sort of like a skill… yes programmers make less than surgeons and etc but the outcome is greater…if u begin a software company and own it u can be the one hiring th eprogrammers

  36. Honestly I disagree with this video as a web developer. Learning the basics of code is fine. Many schools don't even have computer science or programming classes, by making them more available, people who may have been interested but never got a chance to see what it's about can now. Comparing it to surgery or law is greatly misinformed, because those fields take way more time to learn all the material and have a bunch of bureaucracy you have to deal with. Programming only takes a few years to get comfortable with, and it's a field that's more about critical thinking anyway. You can always look something up if you forget. You can always fix errors before the code goes into production, if it wasn't already caught by someone else reviewing. A surgeon doesn't get extra chances. A lawyer is expected to know the vast majority of laws without having to look them up, since laws are slow to change. These fields don't have the same leeway or flexibility and are generally much more demanding on the spot.

  37. Saying "Not Everyone Should Code" is basically the same as saying "Not Everybody should learn English". Mind your freaking business and dont tell us what to do. Alot of people enjoy coding and some even code when they're bored so they can atleast accomplish something. If you're new at coding doesn't mean you'll never learn it.

  38. Here's a really quick tip if you're wondering if you should start programming: Were you good at maths in school? If yes, go for it, it no, forget it

  39. I clicked on this video and expected an elitist rant
    Got a very well informed and phrased short essay instead
    Good job !

  40. When I hear "people should learn to code", I think there is good intentions behind that message. I might compare it to the saying "learn a trade so you have something to fall back on".
    This video touches on the problem that any field is going to have, sure, you can train someone for a job, but some people are going to perform better because we have different talents. I see a problem with talking about computer programming as if it were a trade. To me, a trade is something like a carpenter or electrician, you take a few classes, you learn from someone else (okay, I guess programming is like a trade). However, programming requires a good understanding of both the syntax but also abstract problem solving you see in math, and lets face it, there are people who are good at math and those who are not. While a person in the trades can teach their trade, to another person, there are so many languages to learn in programming and different types of programming jobs, it is difficult to find a good programming mentor.
    The other problem is, there are so many programming languages to learn. I am a self taught programmer, I spent a year, dabbling in different languages, following different tutorials, and figuring out what I wanted to do. You can learn programming, but it requires more time and paitence then most people have. You can start today teaching yourself programming, but which language do you start with? You can teach yourself programming from either a classroom (online or your local college) , you tube videos, books, problem is, programming is like learning a language from outer space, it will not make sense to the average person until they put in hours of practice.

  41. Wow this is mind bending! Honestly such an intriguing look at the future of technology and civilization. 10/10 video, seriously the gold standard of an educational content video 💡📚

  42. This is something I tried to get across my classmates, pretty much all of whom went into comp sci fields after graduating high school. It's really not for everyone, you also can learn to code in 10 hours if you really want to. The coding part is the easy part, solving the underlying problem is the hard part. And out of ~35 people I really doubt ~30 will find that kind of work fits their interests, aspirations and will give some sense of meaning. At the end of the day, choosing a profession based on money alone is a terrible choice. Living and surviving are two different things.

    Right now, the simple part of coding – the work of translating what an intelligent human being wants to happen into a language a dumb ass computer can understand is still in high demand. But at the end of the day, that part of the industry will very quickly become saturated. Because it really is simple enough that it is something almost anyone can learn to do. Chances are even if you might find a decent job today based on knowing how to code alone, unless you're really really good at it, it won't be a great job in a couple of decades.

    As for computer science itself, solving underlying problems in a way that computers can compute efficiently, that's not going anywhere. That's the actual specialty field that you need years of education to learn. And it really isn't for everyone.

  43. cosd(6×10^847) = NP-Hard
    cosd(6×10^995) = NP-Complete
    cosd(6×10^1026) = P-Easy
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_versus_NP_problem
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_complexity
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halting_problem

    Computer Science begins with the ALU and their respective problems since 1950.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic_logic_unit

  44. I was looking up C# tutorials cuz I wanted to make a stupid game, what is YouTube trying to tell me by putting this in my recomendeds?

  45. I do agree with some of his points but I take issue with the bold and emphatic claim that writing code is not the new literacy. I also think it is just as crazy to say that it is. We don't know what it is yet. As a concept, it has only been around for about 100 years or so (excluding some more abstract representations of coding like operating an abacus) and it has only been mainstream within the last 40-50 years (depending on your definition of mainstream). Not everyone today is a reader or writer by profession but it is an essential skill to navigate the modern world. And even fewer people are mathematicians but it would sound foolish to say basic math isn't necessary. Before the revolution of the printing press, reading and writing were only for the elite. After the printing press revolution, it only became more imperative to learn how to read and write and it still took hundreds of years. The analogous revolution for computers has already happened and we might be on our way to requiring a basic understanding of coding. I am sure he knows all of this but I don't understand how he confidently states coding is not the new literacy.

  46. I like programming and I think one of the reasons was because of how they sold it to me (money and stuff) but I am actually bad at it

  47. Let me make an in between counter-argument: every university graduate should program.

    To extend your surgeon example, a surgeon requires two things: knowledge of human anatomy, and knowledge of the physical techniques of surgery. We wouldn't be happy with someone with no knowledge of anatomy operating on us and constantly having to discuss with an anatomist what to do next.

    But that's the situation most of us coders are in. We start our careers with no specific knowledge of any domain, and we struggle through trying to understand how to do what's asked of us, and the code we write ain't great. If we're lucky, we find ourselves in a career path that slowly gives us more and more domain knowledge, and then we become game developers, or financial services software engineers, logistics systems architects or whatever. But we're never formally trained in our new domain — it's just accumulated informal knowledge

    Meanwhile, other people start out with the domain knowledge and learn programming in order to apply it. Their software often works better because they bend the code to fit the problem, whereas non-experts bend the problem to fit the code. (The ideal solution is a team consisting of both types.)

    And then there's the people who learn to fudge through things with Excel formulas and VBA, and make buggy, unmaintainable spreadsheets that become business-critical and cost the company millions through stupid rounding errors etc.

    If everyone emerged from university with a basic understanding of coding alongside their specialism, people would be able to solve their own problems, rather than relying on trying to describe the problem well enough for someone else to understand it and fix it for them.

  48. I've met a lot of "programmers" who should not be coding, they just try and bluff their way along so their code fails. Some "coders" are only there for a fat salary, so their code ain't that good and will go along until they are "found out", move to the next high paid job until they get found out. Coding is a bizarre world.

  49. The main reason I want to do programming is because it is something that can be self taught, and if I were to start studying it I wouldn't need top high school grades. Perhaps it will be a boring job, but I know that if I earned under 35k I would be even more miserable.

  50. Bullshit argument, learning the basics of how computers work and a bit o programming should be mandatory for everybody in school. We are in the 21st century.
    Learning to program is not a specialization, in the same way that learning to read doesn't make you a writer.

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