In response to the growth of the knowledge-based economy, writing computer code is becoming increasingly popular—and increasingly necessary. Jobs that once required no programming skills, such as being a librarian, now depend on navigating software. And for anyone who wants to strike out on their own, creating a savvy online presence is a must. A number of companies now cater to the growing learn-to-program market. Perhaps the most well known is Codeacademy, a free tutorial service that even the mayor of New York says he wants to use.
What’s the Big Idea?
There is a (big) difference between being code-literate and writing great code, and while the learning curve can prove steep, the importance of understanding what powers the Internet is difficult to overstate. “Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the Web,” said Sarah Henry, a 39-year-old, an investment manager. “It is fundamental to the way the world is organized and the way people think about things these days.” For a couple hundred dollars, you might consider a programming course as an investment in your future.