Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coding and Computer Science

A great video from on the importance of knowing how to code and why coding should be taught in the nation's high schools.

I applaud the efforts to bring programming to the high schools. Computers have become so easy to use, people forget about the code needed to make them work. It seems that there is less teaching of high school programming now then when I was in high school in the late 70's.

Many high school students and often teachers think of computer science synonymously with programming but computer science just uses programming as a starting point. The introductory CS courses at Georgia Tech definitely teach programming but even those courses try to do more. In the School of Computer Science we focus not on the programming environment but on tacking the great computational challenges: how to create algorithms to make computer smarter, how can computers communicate and work together, how to we keep computation and data secure, how do we make sure our programs work as promised. Our students go beyond programming, they understand computing and that's what makes them so valued in industry.

On this topic check out the great discussion going on at the CCC Blog trying to find the right analogy for "coding is to computer science as ...".

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