I mean, really, now I know why I can't stand his writing. He's just bitter because Peter Hamilton sells way more books!
The much bigger question here is why aren't the executives of the relevant firms being criminally prosecuted under the RICO act? If we really want to see an end to these kinds of practises, a few of the people at the top need to be seen doing the perp walk. Fining a few of the world's richest corporations even a few billion dollars will be totally ineffective, they'll just put it down as a cost of doing business and I can guarantee you they won't then start to hire each other's staff aftewards.
I was lucky enough to study in a department that made all computer scientists write a lot of code. I often interview CS grads these days however who've basically done none. To answer the original question though, the combination of being able to code, having been taught to do the basics well and having a good theoretical foundation in algorithms and other areas of CS is unbeatable. Being a self taught coder with good experience who does it for the love of the art is better than having a low quality CS degree and no interest in programming though.
I mean, seriously, what kind of idiot thinks that have a standard for this will make any difference at all? Quality costs money and time end of story.
Think about just how much work is now needed to display a simple GUI on a number of different devices. Something that a single developer could once have cooked up themselves now takes teams of designers, UX people, UI coders, back end coders and the rest to do. Really, we should chuck it all out and just start again.
A cynic might say that some of the donors are not exactly disinterested parties here. I, in think in common with a lot of people on Slashdot, learned to code for the love of it and then found myself in an industry where programmers are, how should be put it gently, treated like scum? If it made good economic and social sense for parents to push their kids towards a career in coding, initiatives like this would be an irrelevance.
...deaths from pizza overdose are through the roof. Back on the positive side though, delivery companies are doing a roaring trade and pretty much single-handedly saving the economy.
I will only buy a Google pod or whatever they're going to call it when it can safely and legally get me home from a night of alcoholic excess.