A Binary Future
by Brandon Uhler (@RezBenzene)
It’s not much of a debate when contemplating the roles that computers play in our society. They are becoming more and more integrated into our daily activities, and rarely do you see anyone without some sort of technology on hand at any given moment. Whether it be a phone, television, tablet, computer, or even your car keys–there’s no way to completely escape tech (or radio waves for that matter). It is true that what makes these devices work is the bit and pieces, the guts if you will. These guts that make up various gadgets are things like the rare earth metals, the transistors, LED’s, battery, etc. But what is the real driving force behind technology? You have to be able to give the devices instructions somehow right? A computer isn’t going to know what it’s supposed to do unless you tell it to do something. This real driving force then, is none other than coding.
Coding has becoming increasingly popular to not only learn about, but to classify as a ‘language.’ I think this is a really important development in the fact that it is now being viewed as a legitimate language. I know I know, it has always been called a programming ‘language,’ but what I’m referring to is the fact that coding has now become viewed as a language like English or Spanish is viewed as a language. Simply put, it is something that some people speak and some people don’t. Well, it may be a good guess to say that most people don’t speak it. I sure don’t. But it is becoming more and more relevant in the world today, being able to code. The internet as well as schools, are making a push to encourage more students to be interested in learning how to code. What does this mean then? Will more and more people learn programming languages until everyone can just debug whatever device they own? Well, the way I see it, one of two scenarios could happen.
The first scenario is an easy one. Everyone will eventually learn the language of their technology and being a programmer isn’t really a thing anymore. Only the masters of coding will be doing it for a living. Imagine if everyone knew how to fix their own car. General maintenance shops wouldn’t be around but there would still be specialists. This is a fairly simple picture to paint, but I don’t really think this is possible. Like at all.
The second scenario, the one that I personally believe will eventually come to fruition is that, like any other language, there will always be people who speak it, and those who don’t. However, what will change it how much of a language coding will become. Like any other language, there will be classes offered to learn it and tests to see how well you speak it. Right now the ratio between people who speak programming languages is nowhere near the amount of people that are bilingual with, say Spanish and English. Eventually we will reach a point where a lot of people will be “bilingual,” being able to speak their first language and a programming language. Imagine a scenario in which a job interviewer is going through you attributes and he or she asks, “Do you speak any other languages? Spanish? French? Maybe Java Script?” That’s the kind of future I could totally buy into. I know I’ll be learning how to code. There’s no escaping how useful of a skill that is/will become.
May the 0’s and 1’s be with all of you.