I Have A Question About Coding

02/10/2014 12:07 pm ET | Updated Apr 12, 2014

I'm raising my hand because I have a question.

I founded a company which teaches basic coding skills but I have a question about coding.

Coding -- literally writing in the language that computers and software read -- is a pretty straight-forward process.

It is complicated. And requires specific skills. And, ask any of us who code, there is an art to the science of writing for technology.

But at its most basic, it's a put-"this"-in-and-get-"that"-out process.

In some sense it's like welding. It's a skill you have to learn; the more you do it the better you are. There are good welders and those who are less-than-good. And it's an application of science to industry.

But here's my question: What does it mean and why is there such a fuss about it?

Seriously, I want your answer.

In the past year alone, some pretty bright people have written that programming is the core skill of the 21st century, and why your 8-year-old should be coding.

Education leaders are debating whether coding should be considered a foreign language.

There's already a bill in the Kentucky legislature which would swap coding class for a foreign language one.

And who tells computers what to do and why is practically its own sub-industry in the national security community. That link is to a government entity which describes itself as:

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) operates within the National Cybersecurity and Integration Center (NCCIC), a division of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (DHS CS&C). NCCIC/ICS-CERT is a key component of the DHS Strategy for Securing Control Systems.


In the U.K. they are teaching government cyber-warriors in classrooms.

None of which touches the avalanche of conversation around how coding is the job skill of the future and one of the keys to closing the skills gap -- the distance between what employers need and what the workforce knows how to do.

Which means coding jobs are available. And the field is growing, creating more and more jobs. Better yet, these jobs pay well. Many start at $100,000 or more -- an impressive initial bank for anyone whose first name isn't Dr.

So is coding a national security issue? A language? The one, safe-bet job skill of the next 50 years?

Because I see this skill -- the ability to talk to computers -- as all three things, that's why I started Dev Bootcamp. People like me are rushing to teach coding because we believe coding is whatever word comes after essential. And more.

Maybe no one can know yet what role teaching coding skills will play in economics, politics and technology.

But many, many of us are betting it will be significant. Because while welding may have built submarines and skyscrapers, coding is what allows you to control them from your phone.

You tell me -- what do you think coding represents? Where will it take us? What is it now, and what role will it play in the next 10, 25, 50 years?