Maggie Pint has been a developer at TempWorks for almost two years, leading the database development team as well as the development for TimeClock. In fact, she’s developed on “every product TempWorks has.” She has a BS in computational mathematics from Augsburg College, though few know she started out as a theater education major.

An avid supporter of women in technology, Maggie is very excited to lead a roundtable discussion at “The Works” next month, leveraging support from “Sit With Me” – an international campaign inspiring women to enter STEM fields.

Maggie is marrying her fiancé (and fellow Tempworks developer) Joe at the end of July. They have one son named Anders, as well as three Australian Shepherds named Dante, Ollie and Ella, who she enjoys showing in obedience and conformation.

We chatted with her recently about whether or not programming is a necessary skill in today’s job market.

Do you think everyone should learn how to code?

Can everyone learn the basics of coding – yes – but it’s like learning the basics of any other exercise.
I think that… there’s an art to coding well. So whether or not you should code perhaps is a different matter. I guess I don’t really sit in the camp of everyone should learn to code, but what everyone should learn is the same troubleshooting process we use when we code… because we’re in a completely IT driven world… So, it’s not necessarily a matter of being able to write a program, it’s a matter of being able to troubleshoot.

The “everyone should learn to code” argument reminds me of the exact same argument we have for “every child should learn math.” … Coding is actually a really good way to learn how to work through every possible case scenario and come up with the best solution… It really pushes you to think.

Do I think that that should be everyone’s career? I mean, no, if you don’t like it, then it shouldn’t be your career.

Do you think programming should be considered one of the required liberal arts?

I actually would be a tentative proponent of that.

In a college liberal arts program, replacing a math requirement with a programming requirement at some level might be really good. Definitely you’re more likely to use coding skills in life than college algebra, which is what most people, if they aren’t going down the STEM road, stop at.

When I was a math tutor, I struggled with telling them why they had to learn certain things. However, programming is much more useful. They’re able to see [how it can be used]. It justifies it.

Is there any truth to the statement “you’ll be super-employable and well-paid” if you learn to code?

I love being a software developer. I’d do it anyways, but there’s a high demand and there’s a fairly high pay scale… The current reality is that there a good amount of jobs out there. Certainly now it’s a good industry and I know that some of the biggest places where the industry is growing are less the hardcore programmers and more as business analysts… who go between the programmers and the client. That position is exploding right now. The majority of women are ending up in business-analyst-type positions.

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