Pushing the rock
> computer programming is a meritocracy. Not everyone will get a prize, and nobody should get a prize just for trying
In a lot of places that's exactly what happens.
"Smith, it's time for your annual review. I see from your timesheets you've been working 60 hours a week. Excellent. Keep up the good work."
"Jones. It seems you've been getting in late and leaving early. We can't have that sort of behaviour, you're going to have to pull your socks up."
Far too many IT departments (and companies in general) reward effort: how much energy you expend trying to move a mysterious bug or a large rock, rather than the results achieved: one person with a JCB gets more done in 10 minutes than an army of rock-pushers (especially if they're arranged in a circle - as that's the obvious way to apply more people to the task) does in a week.
However since too many decision-makers and salary-deciders have no methods for measuring IT productivity (which, for a lot of so-called IT "staff", is the only reason they still have a job) they decide your fate based on what they can quantify.
So instead of teaching children to code, maybe they would be more successful if they were taught to sleep with their eyes open. Although a lot of kids in a lot of classrooms seem to have already mastered that art.
 Or causes more damage, depending on skill and training.