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Is Coding the New Literacy?

Is Coding the New Literacy?

18 Jan 2020 Sanjay Jain

These days, almost every grownup can read and write.

But it wasn’t always like that.

A thousand years ago, most people were farmers, and to be a farmer, you didn’t need to be literate. The few people who could read were usually priests, monks, royalty, and professional writers (usually employed by royalty).

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Being able to read as an ordinary person a thousand years ago is like being able to code in today’s world. People view it as some sort of magic.

In the future, I believe coding will become as common as literacy is right now.

Today, you don’t need to be a professional writer to be able to write and read. Even if you’re a farmer, you can write and read.

The same will happen to coding.

Not only will professional programmers be able to code, but everyone will know how to code. It won’t matter if you’re a marketer, lawyer, farmer, office clerk, etc.

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But why would everyone need to know how to code?

Well, for the same reason as to why everyone needs to know how to write and read. It makes you more effective and productive.

For example, even though you don’t need to be literate to be a farmer, a farmer who can read and write is much more productive at farming than their illiterate counterpart.

When literacy among farmers started to grow hundreds of years ago, the farmers started to be able to read useful articles about growing crops. Being literate helped them read instructions on how to properly use new equipment and how to maintain it. It enabled them to keep books on their stock, and much more.

Literate farmers were more productive and better off.

Let’s compare this to coding. Even if you’re not a professional coder or don’t intend to become one, you can use your coding skills to become more effective and productive.

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You can write scripts that will automate tedious and boring tasks that you have to regularly do, which will bring you more free time and less stress.

The shift to everyone being able to code has already started. It won’t be completed overnight. It will be a slow process to get the majority of people to be able to code, but the ones who start today will have a big advantage over the rest.


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