Learn to code refers to a popular online mock catchphrase, used to infuriate and instigate journalists without a job to put on their Programming Socks and “learn to code”.
It became a widely encountered phenomenon on Twitter after the mass cutbacks at The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed in 2019.
The “learn to code” trope has been around for a while and it gained firm ground across the globe in the 2010’s, as life has gotten more digitalized.
In 2014, BuzzFeed itself published an article revolving around arguments presented for acquiring coding skills.
The same year, the question of training laid off coalminers to code arose, in relation to a remark made by Mark Zuckerberg, which became a reoccurring trope in the following years.
“Learn to code” would start taking off on Twitter, however, only after the news that BuzzFeed disposed of a large portion of its staff in early 2019.
An iconic tweet, revolving around the argument “learn to code” was posted by @bypatrickgeorge on January 24th, 2019, describing a special place in Hell for Weebs (or Otakus) who tell the phrase to jobless journalists.
Within the same month, the discussion spread to numerous other sites outside of Twitter, including 4chan, Reddit and even YouTube.
At the end of the January 2019, Twitter caused a great controversy, as it would suspend users directing “learn to code” messages toward laid off journalists.
The phenomenon was revived at the end of 2019, when in December, Joe Biden made a statement that “anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can learn to program” unleashing arguments online.