Interesting article at the Telegraph asking why don’t we teach touch-typing at school these days.
I think the short answer is because the school system hasn’t worked out how to add computer skills into the Dickensian curriculum and approach to learning we’ve embraced.
Firstly, I think touch-typing vs typing are two different skills. Touch typing and the QWERTY keyboard used in English speaking countries were developed to deal with the limitations of the typewriter and the mechanical innards of it. Therefore, you needed to be able to push down hard with your pinky fingers to press the ‘p’ key on to the page. It was also important to spread the keys around so we didn’t have multiple levers clashing in midstream.
Information Week has an interesting article based on comments from HCL Technologies’ CEO, Vineet Nayar. HCL is a $2.5B company with over 3,000 staff across the US and was recently asked why he didn’t employ more US graduates with Computer Science degrees. His simple answer is that they’re unemployable. They feel that they’re entitled to a high salary straight out of college, have limited real world knowledge and ultimately are not just as valuable as they think they are. In the end, he chooses to employ graduates from other countries where their skills are more applicable, they’re willing to work and understand that it takes time to build up your employment value.
This is a subject that is close to my own heart as I often wonder where is the guy that’s going to replace going to come from. It probably won’t be a US, or Canadian graduate but is more likely to be somebody from a developing country and somebody that has probably educated themselves outside of the academic bubble.