From the time we entered kindergarten to high school graduation, we were all drilled in the “3 R’s”: reading, writing, and arithmetic. These skills form the foundation of what it means for an adult to be considered properly educated. But we’re now living in an era when computers are far more important than cursive. Despite this, most elementary and secondary schools in the US do not offer so much as a single course in computer programming. This is problematic for both students and the economy as a whole: students fail to gain experience in a vital field with well-paying careers, while companies cannot find enough programmers to meet their workforce needs. The federal government spends $4 billion annually getting computers into schools, compared to just $5 million on computer science education, meaning that 1000 times more money goes to buying computers than it does to ensuring students know how to do something useful with them. In other words, it’s the curriculum not the availability of machines that’s the roadblock.
The importance of developers has been widely recognized. Books like the The New Kingmakers: How Developers Conquered the World and The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business celebrate the role developers play in changing the world.