Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:19 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Development "Computers are ubiquitous in modern life. They offer us portals to information and entertainment, and they handle the complex tasks needed to keep many facets of modern society running smoothly. Chances are, there is not a single person in Ars' readership whose day-to-day existence doesn't rely on computers in one manner or another. Despite this, very few people know how computers actually do the things that they do. How does one go from what is really nothing more than a collection - a very large collection, mind you - of switches to the things we see powering the modern world?"
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Looking past these roadblocks, I have to wonder if there's any need for a significant percentage of the population to know programming. What would that get us? If half the population could program, wouldn't most of them be overqualified for the menial jobs they end up getting? Many of us are already overqualified today, meaning our advanced degrees are not being put to great use.

I have addressed that problem specifically. Menial jobs are getting automated - slowly for now, but it's happening and can only accelerate.

Warehousing is becoming automated obviously (eg Amazon's robotic warehouse with robots zipping around at 40km/h). Industrial manufacturing is getting better automated. Shopping centres are moving towards self service, and more and more people are just ordering things over the internet (the dotcom dream wasn't dead, just resting). Google is developing driverless automobiles. Roomba. The list goes on.

Today's device aren't too programmable, but as we can see, things like the iPad and Android are able to make the possibility of programming available to a wider group of people but that's beside the point. Programming will become a menial job.

I'm not saying the average person will write in Java or C++ or C# or one of the functional languages. There will probably be domain specific languages that are less powerful that would be easy enough for it to be common knowledge like maths is today.

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