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“Coding will be the key to innovation in the future but many students, but especially low-income students, aren’t exposed to it,” she says. Tech moguls including Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt and Meg Whitman from Hewlett-Packard agree with her. They’ve thrown their weight behind Code.org, a new nonprofit whose “learn to code” videos have gone viral. They say that coding, programming and computer science will be the language of the 21st century. "In a world that's increasingly run on technology, computer science is a liberal art that every student should be exposed to, regardless of their path in life,” says Code.org’s Hadi Partovi. Labor economists say Partovi might be right. By 2020, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that 778,000 computer jobs will be created. “That is substantial growth that is expected to outpace the growth of the overall economy,” says Martin Kohli, a chief regional economist there. Jan Cuny, who oversees the National Science Foundation’s CS10K initiative, a $40 million program aimed at getting more computer science teachers in high school classroom, says those projections are low. She estimates that 1.4 million jobs—and 60 percent of the STEM jobs of the future—will require computing skills. They are good jobs too. In 2012, according to the BLS, the average salary for a computer programmer was about $80,000. (By comparison, the average wage for American workers is $45,800.)”—Is Coding the New Second Language? | Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian Magazine
How Linguistics is like Coding
As a linguist, I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with programmers about the similarities between linguistics and coding.
Here’s an example of a simple linguistic tree structure for the sentence “The internet loves cats” (which of course is also true!)
But you can actually represent the information in this structure in several different ways, and many of them look a lot like code.