Learn to Write, Learn to Code

[James Somers][] planned to live the writing life, only the world called him back with a sweet job offer that focused on coding. Somers muses that the world is out of whack, too focused on coders, and some of his commenters, also coders, agree. Some even observe that the money is so good because investors think the next big thing will be digital and so coders make out as investors and entrepreneurs dance their dance.

My take: Somers is a great writer and, I assume based on his current job, he has coding chops. We need more people with both. Writing chops *and* coding chops. It’s the coders, however, who are leading the way in this regard — think Paul Graham for one. I’d love to see a humanities major, we could even go with the current moniker of digital humanities, that produced majors who could write and code. And by code I mean HTML and XML are a given, and maybe even SQL, and that there will be facility with at least a scripting language like Python or Ruby. (We’ll save C, C+, and Objective C and the other programming languages for computer science majors.) Too much of the current stuff I see is really about design — Photoshop and PowerPoint or Final Cut Pro. Design is fine — I put myself through graduate school doing graphic design work on the side — but what we need are majors who understand the architecture underlying all the infrastructure that now surrounds us. Experience in coding does that.

We can do this, humanities.

[James Somers]: http://www.aeonmagazine.com/living-together/james-somers-web-developer-money/

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