See my previous post on how all the previous teach-kids-to-program cycles petered out.
I get pretty cynical when I hear things like “This time we’ll change everything” or “This time it’ll stick” or “Technology is the wave of the future”. We were going to change everything the last time, and the time before that. And computers have been the wave of the future for 40 years, but we haven’t managed to make computing part of the school world.
Or maybe we have.
Maybe all those previous waves did work.
Maybe the kids of the 80s became the first dot-com entrepreneurial generation (think: Napster and Yahoo and Netscape).
Maybe the kids of the 90s became the second generation, the ones who conceived of Web 2.0 (think: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube).
And if that’s true, maybe the software world we see today, with open & participatory communities, adult boot camps, lower barriers to entry, and an overall more egalitarian tone, really is the cumulative effect of these waves of teaching-kids-to-program.
Maybe those waves really did change the landscape and increase everyone’s exposure to programming—but the right place to measure that is the world around, not in the schools.
And maybe this next wave is already poised to stick better than the ones before.
I’m feeling optimistic already.