Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tim Cook's Mass Coding Jobs Push Is Misplaced And Dangerous
Kids are socially dysfnnctional as it is without adding more apps, compliments of 2 million more app creators!
In his recent (2 weeks ago) interview on the MSNBC special "Revolution' Apple CEO Tim Cook held court before a techie audience at a Chicago tech high school. Cook made some clearly outlandish claims - at least a sensible person watching would hope they are!- including 2 million coding jobs in the pipeline by 2025. The other was a push to integrate coding into college science subjects - which has to be the dumbest idea I've heard since some loon proposed teaching creationism along side evolution.
"Wah! Wait, Mr. Copernicus! Coding IS great, it IS science!"
No, it is not. Well, ok, there is computer science - which I also took- but it is generally taken supplementary to actual science courses,. Most college physics, chemistry and biology curricula are packed as it is and many profs are hard pressed to cover all the required material, including labs, without adding coding. And to make this idiotic plan a reality you'd basically have to double or triple the credit hours for each subject - e.g. for a 4 hour weekly General Physics course- you'd need to expand it to 8 or even 10 hours. Note this is if Cook's plan of doing coding along side physics (or other subjects) is accepted. If, however, the student already knows programming and can do it - say for a numerical plasma model - it won't encroach on regular class time.
At the University of Alaska- Fairbanks, all science majors - certainly in the upper levels, also took Fortran but as a separate, ancillary course. The coding (programming) then worked along side the physics topics, without encroaching on teaching time. If a numerical model, say to replicate Boltzmann's velocity distribution, was assigned, it could be done and enhance class learning of the material. But it didn't compete with class material and detract from it.
Cook's other preposterous claim was to describe for Chris Hayes how 2 million coding jobs are on the horizon. I sincerely hope not! Personally, I believe the coding craze is over-hyped. Also we've beheld this sort of emphasis from Apple's CEOs before, e.g. in the person of Wunderkind Steve Jobs. As the website, "Having the Conversation' reminded us: