There will be fewer professional coders in the future

That is the actual future of software development: It will become so easy and second nature, that for ordinary tasks you won’t even have to think about it.

Source: Dear Google, the future is fewer people writing code | TechCrunch

Tools like MIT App Inventor, and others, are making programming so easy that it no longer requires extensive training and high levels skills to create many types of useful programs. (Again, see my App Inventor web site at http://appinventor.pevest.com).

Specifically,

Writing code will become less and less necessary, making software development more accessible to everyone. This will allow people to solve new and unique problems for themselves, and true software engineers will continue to find ways to empower others through various platforms.

We used to call people who wrote programs, programmers. Later, this was change to titles like software developer, software engineer or sometimes computer engineer. Today, the media has short circuited the entire field to just “coders”, which seems like a downgrading of skills and title.

Coding Boot Camps produce coders, not software engineers

“Google, which has hired workers from Flatiron and other academies, recently studied the efficacy of coding camps. The company found that while the camps have shown promise, most of their graduates weren’t prepared for software engineering without additional training or prior experience,  Maggie Johnson, Google’s director of education and university relations, said in an email.”

Source: Coding Boot Camps Attract Tech Companies – WSJ

Coding “boot camps” are presently in vogue, offering (typically) an intensive six month training program leading to a job as a computer programmer.

Historically, only about 1 in 4 professional software developers had a relevant degree (computer science, for example). Programming has long been a field where basic programming skills can be self learned and self practiced.

Much software development is fairly narrow – if you know HTML5, PHP or Javascript and SQL, you can develop web applications, even without a good understanding of algorithm selection or design. Many coding boot camps substitute for community college programs, but do so in a more intensive, shorter time period.

Simultaneously, software development becomes easier through better languages and tools. Visit my web site devoted to MIT App Inventor programming for Android to learn more, as one example!

To some extent, are coding boot camps the A+, Network+ certifications of a dozen years ago? Those were in vogue for several years to train IT staff but soon, the world passed that by and moved on. I am concerned that if it takes only six months of training to obtain a “high paying software job”, that this market will not stay that way for long! Basic economics 101! Relatively low barriers to entry will eventually flood the market – unless, as many suggest, the software field is only for the young and those with short careers (jobs really, not a career). In which case the field has a big appetite to consume a lot of people, use them for a few years, and then replace with a new crop of boot camp graduates.

Regardless, software development will change significantly – to where a great many people have basic programming skills. There will be another group of higher skilled workers that take on a role more like engineers, focusing on architecture, design and management. There will also be specialized fields such as embedded controller design and software development, which require hardware knowledge. All though that too can be made simpler – take a look at Arduino!

The only thing that might be clear about the future is that we may soon see a lot of change in how software is created and who does the creative work.

Google experimenting with wide area broadband Wireless Internet access #IOT ?

Search giant seeks experimental authorization for the 3.5GHz band to conduct testing in up to 24 US areas.

Source: Google FCC filing hints at high-speed wireless plans – CNET

Broadband wireless Internet access is successful in the context of mobile Internet from mobile devices. But it has not achieved a large market share relative to cable, fiber and flavors of DSL services. Google, which has launched its own high speed Internet access in a few markets, is likely interested in providing a wireless solution to potentially achieve a quicker to market solution than laying wires and fiber.

The house I moved in to 3 years ago had been set up for wireless broadband through a service providing 6 Mbps data. However, our street had fiber to the curb and the costs of 15 Mbps FTTC were half the price of the wireless service, so we have been on fiber since we moved in. Time will tell if this new offering delivers the right set of benefits to consumers. Unless of course, Google is experimenting with an Internet of Things network!

Cars to connect to the Internet of Things

Cars already include many sensors. Some of these sensors are used to display driving (e.g. speed, fuel) and maintenance information to the driver (low tire pressure, low oil pressure). But modern cars have vastly more sensors than this – and with computing and connectivity, this data can and will be collected. Already, cars log and retain data on speed and braking for the seconds prior to an airbag deployment.

Data collected over time may help to understand how vehicle components wear out and break, and this could lead to higher reliability in the future. On the downside, collected data might be used against the driver, suggesting the vehicle was driven inappropriately.

Could location data be used against you in law enforcement? Probably. The #IOT is creating a behemoth surveillance society where every single action we take will be logged. Is this how we want to live?

Source: Onboard diagnostics will connect cars to the Internet of Things | VentureBeat | Business | by Liz Slocum Jensen, Road Rules