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Kidst must code?

When I was in the Army back in 1970, I took a correspondence course on computer programming (and much more), thinking that having some kind of intimate knowledge of computers should some day pay off.

The course was very technical, and the deeper I got into it, the more I wondered just how practical what I was learning would be in the long haul. Eventually, I concluded that, like so many other things in life, I didn't need a thorough understanding of how computers worked to make them work for me. I just had to buy the right one.

Over the weekend, I was reading about how important it is (or will be) for kids to know how to code computer programs.

And I see that the Chicago library is now offering to let patrons check out a robot called The Finch, developed by Carnegie Mellon University to teach kids about coding.

Really? How many kids will work in a job that requires them to know how to code? One out of 10? One of 100? One of 1,000?

I've tried coding. It's boring. It's tedious. It's not for everybody.

Would kids be better off reading a good book? Learning Latin? Practicing their multiplication tables?

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