mikerr wrote:The fall in hobbyist programmers happened at the same time as the decline of basic .... coincidence ?
Everyone should read this long but excellent article:
"Why Johnny can't code":
Int'resting, but like so many articles, forum threads and blog posts on the subject it's tech centred, not people centred. More pertinent questions might include:
"Why doesn't Johnny want to code?" and:
"Is the way that dad learned to code (maybe thirty years ago) still relevant?"
Coding for the sake of coding is dull. Sorry, but there it is. But engineering (as in "building the things you want from the stuff you can lay your hands on") isn't quite so bad. It's still a bit of a stretch to convince folks that making something might be a viable alternative to just hitting "download", but if you don't bore them to tears in the first five minutes then maybe you'll have a chance.
I note that many of the people in this discussion are of a similar vintage to me. Much has changed in my lifetime - computers are now so ubiquitous (and frankly mundane) that it's easy for younger people to forget that someone has to actually has to create and maintain the applications that they use every day. It's simply not science fiction any more, so don't be surprised if kids aren't enthralled in the same way that we were. Perhaps it's our generation's fault for making it quite so crashingly dull in the first place.
Still, I have a terrible feeling that this thread will veer back to "Basic versus Python versus whatever" and continue to miss the wider point completely.