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While I don't like the "let's teach everyone to become coders!" thing that some companies seem to be pressing, I think this is a great addition for dabblers, or for people who are on their parents computer and want to do something quick without installing a bunch of junk. I really like this.

Edit: Oh, I see it's from the store. Well, that doesn't help anything at all.

There are a lot of electronics hobbyist who may not know much about programming. The Adafruit/Pi community have a lot of python libraries for sensors and such.

Some children/students may want to “make the thing work” with electronics rather than “get your dev system built and then program the thing to work”. Dependencies can be a nightmare especially on Windows.

That's a great extra addition - Pi's are super easy to program in Python.

When I was 11 years old I was looking at a bit of code in a magazine and, being curious to know what it did, I booted up my parents' old IBM PC. I typed GWBASIC.EXE into the command line and I was astounded that it worked.

Maybe that isn't so relevant now that it's easy to find and install software but my journey with programming began that day when I was magically dumped into that BASIC interpreter.

The first coding I ever did was along the same lines, carefully copying dozens of lines of BASIC into a Commodore 64 - I still recall the feeling of wonder that it actually worked!

That's what first got me into coding - finding QBASIC on my grandmother's PC.

I think things have changed - it's super easy to get into it now with the internet being such a great source of information and cheap tools, but having the tools available to us is I'm sure what launched a lot of us into this profession.

>While I don't like the "let's teach everyone to become coders!" thing

Why not? I reckon it's a good idea as a shotgun approach. 90% of the people just won't get it and move on...the other 10% probably are suited to be real coders.

Expecting everyone to code is unreasonable, but a throw it against wall and see what sticks approach to identifying interest & ability seems reasonable.

I don't know that it has value - coding and computer use many years ago were similar - but now it's so different, I don't know how learning to do basic programming tasks would make most people's lives better.

Everyone should learn basic programming like they learn math. Not everyone will continue on to become a professional mathematician of course.

I'm not sure I follow that argument - I don't think that the skill of programming is relevant to most people's lives, and I feel like the world of tech is actually getting easier for users to navigate - comparing DOS to a modern Android device, you basically don't need to know anything about command line commands to do whatever you need.

“Software is eating the world.” Everything is programmable these days, it’s highly relevant. And administration is not programming.

Remember the old business folks and politicians we laughed at a few years ago because they couldn’t handle email? Sounds like you’re arguing for that kind of ignorance.

Another example, knowing about the Roman Empire or WW2 is not important to daily lives either but we consider that knowledge to be basic literacy.

Program or be programmed -- Douglas Rushkoff

That sure sounds profound, but I don't know what it means.

Edit: Ah, somehow programming gives you the ability to direct and master technology, instead of being mastered by it. I'm incredulous - my ability to make web-apps doesn't exactly give me a seat at the same tables Facebook, Google, and the NSA are occupying.

It gives one the tools to recognize overreach, important for democracy.

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