Should Everyone Learn to Code?

Brain with binary numbers.

I’ve seen a lot of videos and articles of people saying that everyone should learn to code. There are tons of posts, courses, and apps claiming it’s easy and that even kids can do it. Some have even suggested to make it a mandatory part of school curricula.

I don’t fully agree, and I’ll explain why in this post.

Programming is not for everyone

It’s that simple. The same way not everyone is interested in painting or acting, not everyone has the patience to learn to code.

You will only succeed in the programming field if you enjoy it.

Therefore, not everyone should learn to code—some people just don’t have the patience and desire to actually do so.

As much as I think it’s an important skill to have, it shouldn’t be a mandatory course at school. Programming is an art in its own way. However, I do believe it’s critical that the option is made available to those who would like to learn.

Programming class should be an option and students should be encouraged, but not required to take it.

Learning to think like a programmer is beneficial

“Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” –Steve Jobs

In today’s technologically saturated world, understanding how computers function is important.

By learning to program, you learn how computers “think”, which makes solving everyday problems—tech, and otherwise—easier.

Analytical thinking skills will help you identify the root cause of issues you encounter. Logical and critical thinking skills will help you understand and break down problems into manageable chunks.

Programming will also test your patience and mental endurance, things which can always be improved.

While you should only learn to code if it actually interests you, acquiring the mindset of a computer scientist can be tremendously useful in all areas of life.

Of course there are other ways to acquire these skills—programming just happens to be very effective one.

It comes down to individual interest

I think the key is to look at this from an individual point of view.

If you’re interested in programming, I strongly recommend making an effort to learn! While I can guarantee that it’ll be difficult, if you’re determined, you can do it.

If you aren’t, then don’t force yourself into it because someone claimed it would be beneficial. You’ll simply end up frustrated and it will do more harm than good.

If you’re unsure, take a look at my post about whether or not you should teach yourself to code.