The unparalleled dynamism of Silicon Valley and Hollywood requires intimate ties that unite what scientist and novelist C. P. Snow called the “two cultures” of the arts and sciences.
In my twenty plus years of professional coding, I’ve collaborated with people with all sorts of degrees and backgrounds. Our coding teams aren’t all computer science degrees, far from it, and for the better. This diversity is necessary and healthy. Launching requires multi-disciplined collaboration. Launching a new feature where I work involves a diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective. You don’t need a technical degree to come make software with us.
The arts fuel industry. Restore them to education. Neurodiverse, multidisciplinary, self-organizing, agile teams are how companies are working now and how education should start working. Communicate, collaborate, iterate, launch.
Jobs once declared: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”
In 2013 the Association of American Colleges & Universities issued the results of a survey of 318 employers with 25 or more employees showing that nearly all of them thought that the ability to “think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems”—the precise objectives of any liberal arts education—was more important than a job candidate’s specific major.
“Consider America’s vast entertainment industry, built around stories, songs, design and creativity,” wrote commentator Fareed Zakaria, author of the book In Defense of a Liberal Education, in a Washington Post column. “All of this requires skills far beyond the offerings of a narrow STEM curriculum.”