|Mayor Bloomberg coding [totally fake image]|
In fact, many people are recognizing that coding and programming aren't and shouldn't be an exclusive set of skills for an exclusive set of people. The media theorist Douglas Rushkoff's current mantra (and book) is "program or be programmed!" He writes:
It's time Americans begin treating computer code the way we do the alphabet or arithmetic...We are socializing, working, consuming, and living in a world increasingly defined by programs. Learning to code is the best way to understand what all those programs do, or even to recognize that they are there in the first place.One of the best classes that I took during library school was called "Information Processing." Not a great name, but the class basically taught librarians how to program, as in computer programming. Learning the basics of how to write instructions (however basic) gave me the sense that I was looking into "the way things really work." And that's an incredibly powerful feeling.
We're only a few weeks into 2012, so it's not too late to make learning to code one of your resolutions. Not only are there online tutorials like Code Year, we also offer a range of books to help you learn to program. I would highly recommend any of the Head First books by O'Reilly, which are excellent.
Also, don't leave your kids out of the fun. I recently came across a really fun site called Kids Ruby which teaches kids how to use the programming language Ruby.