Like many 10-year-olds, Nick Wald takes
private lessons. His once-a-week tutor isn't helping him with piano scales or
Spanish conjugations, but teaching him how to code.
Nick, a fifth-grader in New York, went in
build a simple website. He is now working in Apple's XCode environment to finish an app
named "Clockie" that can be used to set alarms and reminders. He
plans to offer it in the iOS App Store for free.
"I always liked to get apps from the
app store, and I always wanted to figure out how they worked and how I could
develop it like that," Nick says.
As the ability to code, or use programming
languages to build sites and apps, becomes more in demand, technical skills are
no longer just for IT professionals. Children as young as 7 can take online
classes in Scratch programming, while 20-somethings are filling up coding boot
camps that promise to make them marketable in the tech sector. Businesses such
as American Express Co. send
senior executives to programs about data and computational design not so they
can build websites, but so they can better manage the employees who do.
"I equate coding to reading and
writing and basic literacy," says Adam Enbar, founder of New York's
Flatiron School, which offers 12-week, $12,000 programs to turn novices into
developers. "Not everyone needs to be Shakespeare, just as not everyone
needs to be an amazing developer," he says. "But…we're entering a
world where every job if not already, will be technical."
Programming languages vary in popularity
and difficulty, and it takes hundreds of hours to become even a junior
developer. But understanding what "code" is and knowing what's
possible and what's not, when working with an IT team, is generally more
important than being able to make apps yourself.
for the full article in the Wall Street Journal.