Is Learning to Code More Popular Than Learning a Foreign Language?

There was a time when people used to go to night classes or buy DIY guides to learn foreign languages in their spare time. But the New York Times is to have us believe that French and Spanish are out of the window, to be replaced by Python and Java.

It's an interesting concept. There's certainly no denying the fact that as a nation we're becoming more tech savvy—you only need to look around a coffee shop to tell you that—and with that is bound to come an increased shift to learning how to make devices work better. From the New York Times:

"Parlez-vous Python? What about Rails or JavaScript? Foreign languages tend to wax and wane in popularity, but the language du jour is computer code.

"The market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction, as well as for iPhone apps that teach, is booming. Those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else. Knowing how the digital pieces fit together, they say, will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages."

But is it really crucial to be able to code? Many content producers use technology virtually every waking hour of their life, and they don't know a variable from an identifier, or an integer from a string. Personally, I'm conflicted: I have a technical background, but for most people I just don't see how being able to compile code is going to prove useful.

So, I'm going to hand this over to you guys: Is learning to code more popular than learning a foreign language? And, if it is, should it be? [New York Times]

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