Turns out, we may need more people who can think like a computer, rather than simply program one. In an excellent article this week in Mother Jones, the question is posed on whether simply creating programmers is the key to innovation, or if focusing on computational thinking is the answer.
Computational thinking, in the article, refers to: “the ability to envision how digitized information…could be combined and changed into something new by applying various computational techniques.”
Which is to say, programming is important — we’re graduating proportionately fewer computer science majors in the U.S. than in the 1980s yet will add 1.2 million new related jobs by 2022 — but what are you going to do with code?
We can keep making social mobile apps until the cows come home, but is that real innovation? Think of all of the fundamental problems we could solve in our society if we were able to figure out how to make computers work to solve them. "Unless you can think about the ways computers can solve problems, you can't even know how to ask the questions that need to be answered," said one expert quoted in the piece.
And this idea fundamentally changes what it means to be a programmer, ultimately: "Upending our notions of what it means to interface with computers could help democratize the biggest engine of wealth since the Industrial Revolution."
At Sabio, we’re committed to including more women, Latinos and blacks in the world of technology, and this is especially true when we look at the following image, which shows that while 38% of boys think that computer science is a “very good choice” for them, only 9% of girls do. For Hispanic boys, 49% of boys, just 13% of girls, see the graph below for more.
Ultimately, if we are to create the types of innovations that will transform our society, we need more people involved, not less. To learn more about Sabio, visit our site here.