"The article seems to ignore the fact that there is a genuine shortage of programmers in this country"
Really? The hundreds of coders I know who've been let go over the last 5 years to be replaced by cheap offshore resource, might disagree with that? There is no shortage of coders, just most of them, like myself, have gotten so fed up with dealing with all the crap that they have transferred their skills into other areas that cannot be as easily replaced by unskilled Indians.
There are various levels to 'coding' and the most basic one is taking a spec and translating it into code, this is mostly noddy work that can be done by anyone with half a brain, and in my experience is! Then it progressively goes on to being able to understand how to build and structure code properly. Do designs etc.
What needs to be taught are the foundations behind programming, the critical thinking, the solving of problems in a logical and structured way... You could know every detail of every programming language on the planet, but if everything you code has to be structured and laid out for you to the nth degree by someone else, then you are pointless!
I work with people who have been coding for decades,, but the code they write is, well, shite. They have spent 20 plus years doing the same things in the same way with no real understanding of how and why, throw something unexpected at them and they are completely out of their depth as they have no concept of solving problems, they just know an archaic programming language that is quite a rare skill nowadays (of course a decent developer in another language could probably pick I up and surpass them in a month, but project managers don't want it in a month, they want it now)
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