February 27, 2013
In an attempt to get more schools to offer programming classes, Code.org has released a promotional video filled with celebrities and "celebrities" that basically says: learn code and you too can work in a hip Silicon Valley office. About three minutes into the video, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains how these big successful tech companies hire "as many talented engineers as we can find." And how do these companies snag those finds? "To get the very best people we try to make the office as awesome as possible," adds Dropbox founder Drew Houston. Then, for the next 45 seconds of a 4 minute video a sythosized robot-version of LCD Soundsystem plays while panning through Dropbox's office space with "free food," "free laundry," "snacks," and "even places to play with videogames and scooters." Really, kids, if you want to work in an awesome space like this, coding is the way to do it:
In addition to "cool offices," the video shows some cool people with cool non-coding jobs, like Miami Heat's Chris Bosh and Will.i.am talking about the importance of computer skills because of their own coding backgrounds, which in Will.i.am's case extends to a coding class he is now taking. This kind of, sort of suggests that some HTML and CSS skills might lead to a glamorous NBA or music career. Neither of these people got their jobs because of their programming wizardry, but never mind.
More important than the hip life that coding education leads to, however, the video has a more meaningful underlying message: programming leads to employment. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the job growth outlook for software programmers over the next 7 years is 30 percent "much faster than average" with a median pay of around $90,000/year back in 2010. As Bosh puts it, just because everyone thought he was a big dork for enrolling in the after-school group called The Wiz Kids, he didn't care. Not because he turned into a big deal basketball player, but because "some of my friends have jobs."
February 27, 2013