I have a dream to build a site that will make it as easy to participate in politics as it is shop on Amazon, but without a software developer all I have is slideware.
Thousands of other entrepreneurs like me have similar dreams – and we all need software developers to make them happen. Existing companies large and small need tasks automated, reports generated and systems that can talk to each other – and they all need people with software development skills to write the routines and craft the code required to make them happen.
So we import developers from around the world or outsource the coding to other continents – where there’s a surplus of development talent. Or worse yet, our dreams go unrealized and our projects incomplete.
On the flip side, millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans are wondering where their next paycheck will come from. Politicians keep talking about building a high-tech economy, but offer no plan as how to develop high-tech people to fill the high-tech jobs and create the high-tech companies. And our education system ghettoizes software development in the engineering department – as being only for those with advanced math and science skills.
Instead of the 10,000 more engineers a year that Obama called for, America needs one million more people a year with the programming skills to make America great again! And the only way that can happen is if we begin teaching hacking in high schools.
It’s time to think of programming as just being another language that anyone can learn – as software is everywhere and programming is becoming part of almost every office job. Today, I can be illiterate in a programming language and be successful, but for how much longer?
We need to throw off the myth that software development requires advanced math and science – as it doesn’t! In my 13 years of Web/software product management, many of the best software developers I’ve worked with don’t have engineering degrees at all.
So I propose everyone should be proficient 3 languages by the time they leave high school: English, a “foreign” language and a programming language.
Let me know what you think.
P.S. And if you’re a talented developer who wants to make a difference, we’re looking for a hacker in chief for MyRepresentatives, your one-stop shop for engaging with your political representatives online. Version 1.0 is live here in the Memphis area, but we need someone who can help execute our vision to
make this a global platform for finding, following and giving feedback to your representatives so it’s as easy to engage in politics as it is to shop on Amazon.