Scratch vs Devin

HPC = High Performance Children. Is it still worth teaching kids to code when Devin or another AI can just do it for you?

Scratch vs Devin

Sunday mornings is Scratch Club for my daughters (aged 6 and 8) and sometimes the odd friend.

I started my daughters playing with Scratch some time ago, certainly before Devin came knocking on the door of software engineering jobs. Allegedly. Given how many actual developers are questioning if they need to change careers, why on earth would I persist in trying to teach my kids to code?

I believe it is still a valuable skill. Even if we stop writing code the way we do today forever.

If you view writing code (or software engineering) as the act of typing characters on a screen (or dragging blocks around a screen for Scratch) in order to complete a task and no more, well then, I’m sorry to break it you but you don’t understand what software engineering is.

Even at 6 years old, doing little more than playing with Scratch, my daughter understands that “coding” isn’t about producing blocks on a screen. 

It’s about taking an idea and translating that into reality. 

It’s about taking a vague concept and defining it completely. Not only to the point that 6 year old can understand it, but to the point a dumb machine can understand it.

It’s about working out all the edge cases.

It’s about learning to reason.

It’s about critical thinking.

It’s about creativity.

These aren’t just programming skills. These are valuable life skills.

If your job is turning well defined requirements (pseudo code) into code. Yea, you have problem. Not only can Devin do your job but ChatGPT has been doing it for quite some time now. If your job is to talk to a client and turn their amazing but partly defined  idea into reality, I really wouldn’t worry.