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I think we are about to witness a plunge down in computer literacy in the following years. The kids today that grow up with tablets and smarphones have no connection with what goes on under their devices.
Everywhere they are scrambling to create new programmers but i dont think they can succeed if there isnt any interest among the youth. Just something simple as wanting to install a Sims mod or fixing a bug would give many people the experience of seeing how stuff works, the filesystem for example. Most tablets and smartphones dont come with a decent file manager, neither do the devices encourage its users to explore it.
The 80s to the 20s will be a remembered as a period where everyone was forced to learn the inner mechanics of computers to use them. Past that there will be so much crap in the way of looking under the hood that the concept of programming might as well be as clear as earth bending to the average person.

At least the wages will stay high, even outsourcing will fade as a possibility with many developing countries skipping PCs completely for smartphones.


I agree.

This consolidation is convenient for governments. If most everyone used their own cryptographic implementations on their own custom systems, surveillance would be significantly hindered.


Programmers haven't needed to learn low level details for a long time now. Higher level and safer languages are being developed, and computer power is allowing for easier and lazier programming (this is a good thing). There will always be a niche for low level programming but it just isn't necessary to eg learn C anymore, much like how C made knowing assembly less useful in the 1970s.

Programming is booming, not declining. Children are developing apps. Software development could become much less popular of a job and still thrive. It's one of the most common occupations. People using tablets instead of computers with file systems isn't going to hurt programmers who only need to know how to piece together a Django app for $80k+ starting salary.


I feel I should add that the difference in computer literacy gained from using a tablet over a computer isn't really going to make a difference when confronted with learning logic, loops, etc. The learning curve for programming is significant enough that the occupation isn't threatened by such changes. At worst it'll just make teaching file system operations (already really simple compared to most programming topics) take an hour or so longer.


I don't think the ammount of smart skilled people goes down. Instead the ammount of unskilled simply vastly increased as it got popular wish makes the former group vanish in a sea of computer illiterate.

Same with programming as a career. 10 years ago university first-semester everyone had previous programming experience cause nobody else applied. Today you may still have 30 people with skill but 270 others who just want a popular career and no idea about it just like any other field.

The killer for field will be when software engineering figures out code-generation to a point where no professional is needed to realize a project but that's still far off


Maybe the percentage of computer literate users is declining, but overall computer literacy is still increasing. 20-30 years ago the only people who owned computers were highly literate because those were the only people who gave a shit about computers.

Now, corporations have convinced everyone they need these devices to communicate, so everyone's using them.

Yet there is also a push in education to get programming courses in at early ages, there are apps specifically designed to teach children/teens programming concepts, you have kids writing Minecraft mods and hacking on Raspberry Pis --- Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, these companies run a large portion of the networking infrastructure and software deployments and they're certainly thinking about where the next 100,000 employees are coming from.

But even as literacy increases, we have to make sure it's applied in the right direction. A certain level of moral education is required to instill critical thinking about free speech, privacy, and human rights. The latest generation of coders is building the largest surveillance apparatus ever seen and we need to convince them and the next one that we should instead be writing software that enables people's freedoms.



I think you're on the right path, but looking too far ahead. It's going to take at least 20 years before this is an issue. Further, I don't think a lack of understanding the nuts and bolts will be the cause. Software Saturation. Once we have a set accepted standard software for the common tasks that people perform, there will be reduced demand for new software. Windows for OS, Office for productivity, Chrome/FF/IE for browser. These have reduced demand for new software in the area, and therefore you see less innovation.

There will always be projects. People need to do x a specific way. Tor browser is an example. Plugins for apps, API scripts, etc. These have resulted in millions of code snippets available open source on github, etc. What we have right now is cookbook copy/paste code saturation, and ultimately we will have plug and play pseudo programming languages. For anything you want to do in a program, there is someone who has already tried it. That's the whole purpose of the open source movement. (Also security)

Once we get to that point, plug and play programming, I don't think we will be stepping back. I think that's a step forward towards smart AI and computers that can program themselves.


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Thats because computers are racist tools of oppression you see


I think with raspberry pi's, arduino's and pocketchip's becoming more and more popular kids will grow up knowing more about computers than most 15-25 year olds know now.


Enrollment in CS and IT degrees is skyrocketing, so I think we'll see a huge influx in users who know *HOW* to do things, but not *WHY* they do things. Presently a ton of major corporations have compartmentalized their IT to the extent that one team only does one job and that's all they do is that one task.

I think we'll see a huge boom in general computer literacy as everything becomes more and more automated, but it will only be surface deep.

Anyways, I think kids these days will be far more computer savvy than kids from the 70s/80s/90s/00s if only because computer have become so ubiquitous. Even something as simple as PC gaming has boomed in popularity among kids and that helps them get beyond the first hurdle of computer literacy.


Hope so, if it means ill get paid more to do what i do i'm all for it.


I volunteer at a "coding" club for kids and I put that in quotes because I'm the only person running it who knows how to program. I try and get them doing as much actual programming as I can but it is hard when I am basically the only one who can help so I need to carefully spell it out for them which limits how much they will learn. Importantly it limits creativity but I try and give them as much space to do what they want.

The biggest problem I have found is how conditioned they are to do what they are told. I can't convince them to take what I am telling them and do their own thing. Next time I'm going to just put together a increasingly difficult (vague) list of challenges and help them work it out.


Get them into programming things like mods for games or robot building and AI. Nonlinear tasks where you have to figure out how to reach a objective from the tools that you're given.