Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

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Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-01 23:46

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... are_btn_fb
Contrary to public perception, the economy doesn’t actually need that many more programmers. As a result, teaching millions of kids to code won’t make them all middle-class. Rather, it will proletarianize the profession by flooding the market and forcing wages down – and that’s precisely the point.

At its root, the campaign for code education isn’t about giving the next generation a shot at earning the salary of a Facebook engineer. It’s about ensuring those salaries no longer exist, by creating a source of cheap labor for the tech industry...

More tellingly, wage levels in the tech industry have remained flat since the late 1990s. Adjusting for inflation, the average programmer earns about as much today as in 1998. If demand were soaring, you’d expect wages to rise sharply in response. Instead, salaries have stagnated.

What do you guys think about this?
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby pylkko » 2017-10-02 05:47

Probably half-true, so to speak.

Yes, as with any other profession, once the line of work is accessible to more than just a select elite, then the wages will plummet. And like it or not, what tends to happen often also, is that if the sector attracts many women, then wages will go down hard.

But at the same time, it is pretty obvious that more and more "trivial" things in industry now require some kind of experience using computers. Here is an example: in the olden days large suppliers would have warehouses where people moved merchandise around using, forklifts, trucks or their bare hands. In the last years warehouse robots have become quite popular. These are machines that can automatically move a product from shelf a location b to shelf c location d using electric motors. Soon trucks will be automated (they are already semiautomated)). Well, obviously the warehouse now needs workers that understand and can script these machines, even though they are not going to be doing software development. What about smart keys, in many areas with apartments houses a janitor would walk around the block making sure that all the doors were locked at a specific time, now such things are done using a script.

Experts predict that IoT will be a large industrial sector in the future. This is not because people want to have IoT devices for fun and leisure, but because industrial devices and working surroundings will have all kinds of automated sensors, measurement devices, self health checks and automation of mechanical processes. Your going to absolutely need to educate workers into knowing how to maintain these, and also need a lot of people to develop these.

So at the end of the day, I do believe that the industrial "western" world will truly need more people that know how to maintain and develop software. Yet at the same time, the majority of these new professions will not be "specialist" jobs that only a select can do, but industry will try to make them accessible to the "average man", exactly in the same way as this happened to office work a hundred years back. In the beginning only a rare select group did "neat indoors work" with papers, calculating land by hand using trigonometry, calculating taxes with mathematical equations and using a special language for it (latin). Then office work was rapidly made into filling excel sheets and using a word processor. That is, something that requires very little of anyone.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby anticapitalista » 2017-10-02 07:44

The process of 'proletarianization' has been going on for years and has already affected numerous 'professions'. Perhaps the most obvious being teaching. (Compare teacher status today with what it was like pre WW1/WW2).
However, this does not automatically mean that wages/salaries will plummet as I'm sure the bosses would like to happen. Strong unions can keep wages up.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby Segfault » 2017-10-02 17:11

Yes, unions are a menace for free market and progress indeed.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby oswaldkelso » 2017-10-02 20:19

Segfault wrote:Yes, unions are a menace for free market and progress indeed.


Never heard so much crap outside systemd in all my years on this forum.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby debiman » 2017-10-03 07:11

Contrary to public perception, the economy doesn’t actually need that many more programmers. As a result, teaching millions of kids to code won’t make them all middle-class.

that sort of stuff has been going on for ages for various professions.

i think it goes something like this:
somebody scientifically enumerates that we need much more X (X being an occupation).
this knowledge trickles down to all sorts of institutions, and they start funding/encouraging people becoming X.
unfortunately this is a slow process, and by the time the effects show the situation has changed already.

the whole process usually, but not necessarily, involves politics and tweaked statistics.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby Hallvor » 2017-10-03 20:28

n_hologram wrote:What do you guys think about this?


It is about supply and demand, as in any profession and in the economy in general.
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Re: Tech's push to teach coding is about cutting wages

Postby RU55EL » 2017-10-03 23:11

Contrary to public perception, the economy doesn’t actually need that many more programmers. As a result, teaching millions of kids to code won’t make them all middle-class. Rather, it will proletarianize the profession by flooding the market and forcing wages down – and that’s precisely the point.


Education is about education. Learning a little or a lot about coding is a useful skills in the information age. Whether or not a student becomes a programmer, coding is good exercise of the mind. It teaches logical thinking and problem solving. In other words, it is part of a good education. Every school teaches math...maybe we should worry about a flood of mathematicians, or writers, what about shop class, mechanics beware! I find it hard to believe that there is a conspiracy to flood the IT market with programmers.

At its root, the campaign for code education isn’t about giving the next generation a shot at earning the salary of a Facebook engineer. It’s about ensuring those salaries no longer exist, by creating a source of cheap labor for the tech industry...


Code education is about learning to think!

This article is noise.

Written to stir up debate and promote readers. Which, it has. Take a look and some of the other sensationalized headlines from the same author.

More tellingly, wage levels in the tech industry have remained flat since the late 1990s. Adjusting for inflation, the average programmer earns about as much today as in 1998. If demand were soaring, you’d expect wages to rise sharply in response. Instead, salaries have stagnated.


More noise with no factual references...

n_hologram wrote:What do you guys think about this?


After reading the article and looking at other articles written by the same author, I would look for information elseware.
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