Getting kids to learn programming earlier definitely seems like a good idea to me. We could start by replacing cursive with keyboarding in elementary schools.
I guess the difference is probably separating here whether the target is kids or college-aged people.
if it is kids, then this is probably good, they might actually learn something, and find it a better experience than, say, "hey, go here and memorize this big table of random crap" (like list all states, their capital, and their major cities in terms of population, ...). like, people don't need to memorize this stuff, most likely they will encounter it via exposure, and remember it if it is actually relevant.
for college age students though, I am more pessimistic. it all generally comes off more as a way for the colleges to basically squeeze money out of people and give them a lot of busywork in the process. most of the people who go and get a CS degree still not really knowing how to write code, and most who can had probably learned it on their own anyways. and, also, the whole education thing is pretty good at taking whatever topic, and finding ways to make it suck...
like, most of what I know, I learned myself...
but, then again, probably I am not really the type of person the education system (or society) wants to produce (probably its own drawback in a way, like it is a negative status WRT things like employability, ...).
then again, maybe I have just been "lucky", in that the internet has been around pretty much my whole life.
actually, I probably owe a lot more to Carmack, since to a large degree I pretty much ended up learning programming largely initially by fiddling around with his code.
Edited by cr88192, 01 March 2013 - 12:00 PM.