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The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding | WIRED

What if we regarded code not as a high-stakes, sexy affair, but the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant?

Source: The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding | WIRED

When I saw the headline of this article, I had to read it. Something that I’ve thought about in recent months is how the economy needs to be turned around, and how a huge swath of the U.S. was decided by blue-collar workers who had difficulty finding work after the Recession of 2008.

Sometimes when I’d watch Star Trek, I’d see the few kids depicted on the show taking physics and basic quantum mechanics classes when they couldn’t have been any more than in the third grade. I can’t do that now. Does that mean that the children of the future are super geniuses? I doubt it. But I imagine that how subjects are taught, and what subjects are taught, will change over time. As the needs of our global economy change, skill sets will change as well.  I’ve often talked about how certain digital apps or abilities have morphed quickly in a few short years, such as being a social media strategist five years ago was more of a communications tool, whereas now social media specialists are now marketing specialists who know how to use social media tools.  Even content strategy has been pushed heavier into marketing, where content marketers are marketers who understand content and content management; they aren’t content managers and strategists who understand marketing. See the difference?

So, this article supports the idea that learning coding is going to be one of those basic, fundamental skills like learning how to spell or read or write a coherent sentence.  I still remember taking my HTML course about 18 years ago. Taking that course has served me very well, even as a non-developer! There have been few positions that I’ve held that didn’t involve some elements of coding or having an understanding of coding in a given project.

So, blue-collar coders? I don’t see why not. The trick will be seeing if bringing basic coding into the American curriculum will happen anytime soon (I doubt it). But I do see the benefits, as outlined in this article.

What do you think? Include your comments below.


Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

One thought on “The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding | WIRED

  1. I’m with you, Danielle. I hadn’t thought about it before, but it makes sense that future generations will think of coding as a basic skill. If they don’t learn it from the educational system they’ll learn it — no surprise — online.

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