Recently, Codecademy came out with a site called Code Year for people to make resolutions to learn to code in 2012. They will send you a lesson via email every Monday, guiding you through the paces of learning Javascript. They got a lot of sign-ups. Just under 350K sign-ups as of this writing, most of whom have presumably never written code before. They got Michael Bloomberg, Fred Wilson, my mother, and my wife to sign up.

Our industry is currently in a state where its success (possibly played against the backdrop of a crumbling world economy) has made people want to program. No matter what the success rate of Code Year, it signals a shift in the way the world views our work.

This is great for us. There’s a very good chance most of these people will never learn to program (that’s how resolutions work). There’s also a good chance some of them will learn just enough to create a startup to sell sweaters to dogs, or mix YouTube with Meetup. It actually doesn’t matter non-developer parts of the tech ecosystem playing through technical problems will work to lessen a gap that exists between technical and non-technical members of a team. In the same way that we can appreciate the difference a designer makes over us giving it a go ourselves, now (if this all goes right) people can understand the importance of code refactors, of spending time on documentation, and on strategies like pair programming.

I really hope they provide some return metrics publicly, would be really interested to find out how many people are following through. Exciting times for us, send the link around and let’s see what comes back.

Side Note: Javascript is a great choice, not only because of its ability to run entirely in the browser it is the only language that can currently be used to write both the client/server of a modern web application (without software like GWT). Sticking to the basics, it has a clean syntax, and allows developers to produce extremely meaningful and visual results very quickly.