Coding Academies Are Nonsense

Coding Academies Are Nonsense

Coding as a profession has recently catapulted from the dark rooms of nerdom into the shining light of mainstream appeal, and few people are better off for it. In 20+ years of professional coding, I’ve never seen someone go from novice to full-fledged programmer in a matter of weeks, yet that seems to be what coding academies are promising, alongside instant employment, a salary big enough to afford a Tesla and the ability to change lives.

It’s an ingenious business model. There’s a dearth of skilled coders in the marketplace to fill the five million computing jobs available in this country. For somewhere between free and $36,000, you learn to program computers in less than a year. If you’re one of the lucky few, you will hit your aha moment with programming and develop a personal passion for it, as well land a real job.

In 15 years, those hard-won skills will be obsolete — if they ever stuck in the first place. Despite their promises, coding academies don’t manufacture coders. They cast wide nets to discover new talent that has not yet been exposed to code. Most people don’t find coding enthralling or interesting enough to continue to pursue it as a career. Given the changing nature of software, they probably shouldn’t.

The best advice for people wanting to learn code? Try before you buy, and by that, I mean figure it out for free. Otherwise, you might find yourself sideways on the career ladder and tens of thousands of dollars poorer. For a dying profession, that’s just not worth it.

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