๐Ÿ“‘ The Healing Power of JavaScript

Bookmarked The Healing Power of JavaScript by Craig Mod (WIRED)

For some of usโ€”isolates, happy in the darkโ€”code is therapy, an escape and a path to hope in a troubled world.

Craig Mod talks about the meditative nature of coding and its abolity to provide some control in moments when the world seems to be spiraling. “An escape with forward momentum.”

Break the problem into pieces. Put them into a to-do app (I use and love Things). This is how a creative universe is made. Each day, Iโ€™d brush aside the general collapse of society that seemed to be happening outside of the frame of my life, and dive into search work, picking off a to-do. Covid was large; my to-do list was reasonable.

Therein lies part of the attraction: moving through that jumble โ€” with all of its perverted poetics of grep and vi and git and apache and .ini โ€” and doing so with a fingers-floating-across-the-keyboard balletic grace, is exhilarating. You feel like an alchemist. And you are. You type esoteric words โ€” near gibberish โ€” into a line-by-line text interface, and with a rush not unlike pulling Excalibur from the stone, you’ve just scaffolded a simple application that can instantly be accessed by a vast number of humans worldwide.

Although coding maybe therapy, I think the other challenge is finding an itch worth scratching.

The challenge to me is to go beyond the question of instruction and understanding of different languages. Beyond debates about fitting it within an already crowded curriculum. Instead the focus should be on creating the conditions in which students are able to take action and create new possibilities. Maybe this involves Minecraft, Ozobot or Spheros, maybe it doesnโ€™t. Most importantly it involves going beyond worrying about training or competency, as Ian Chunn would have it, and instead embracing the world of making by leading the learning.

Mod also provides some background to the process behind writing the piece.

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