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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kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

That's a logical solution to unemployment, especially considering how employees are working longer hours each year. Within the past decade, US law was changed to specifically exclude IT workers from federal overtime pay requirements so that businesses are legally entitled to demand longer hours from us with zero additional pay (forget time and a half). So we're kind of moving in the opposite direction.


I think the problem you highlight is actually exacerbated by certain IT jobs being considered as above "entry level", if not "elite". IT administration is kind of like the janitorial equivalent in the eyes of the corporate types, but it requires a great amount of training and time. The sooner those IT jobs no longer require university degrees, the better.

With the momentum, IT jobs can become unionized again. Employers will just have to suck it.

"What does that matter? I'm talking about potential 50 years in the future. It's obviously part of a trend."

I'm a bit confused... it matters because you brought them up as examples of that trend "...the iPad and Android are able to make the possibility of programming available to a wider group of people..." I find them ironic choices for illustrating the point because technology could be less user accessible in the future.


The devices themselves may be less user accessible, but the trend I'm talking about is programming itself being available to people without going to university. As I understand it, the iPad and Android created a market for programmers that didn't require university degrees and established companies.

Yes, most apps are of poor quality, but it doesn't matter. The opportunity and market is now there, and no matter how many restrictions are put in place, you can't deny that programming itself is being opened up and your average student will start seeing programming as a required basic skill.

Incidentally, the FSF just sent an email about it's campaign to fight restricted boot devices, if anybody's interested:

http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/2012-ap...


Uh oh, cue the "RMS is a fanatic" slogans.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"IT administration is kind of like the janitorial equivalent in the eyes of the corporate types, but it requires a great amount of training and time. The sooner those IT jobs no longer require university degrees, the better."

I'd say that's already the case. When institutions are pumping out so many professional degrees per year, they become requirements for jobs which previously did not require them. Back in the 90's, employers would hire anyone who was able to do IT administration regardless of degrees since most candidates didn't have one. I believe the higher degree requirements today is a result of supply and demand rather than the increasing difficulty of the work. If the supply were to increase substantially as you predict, then won't most employers just add more requirements to filter them out?



"The devices themselves may be less user accessible, but the trend I'm talking about is programming itself being available to people without going to university."

Ok I see, they created new markets, and hence new openings for programmers.

"Yes, most apps are of poor quality, but it doesn't matter. The opportunity and market is now there, and no matter how many restrictions are put in place, you can't deny that programming itself is being opened up."

I donno, it's still an incredibly ironic example to me, I'd have picked the raspberry pi or it's ilk since it doesn't run a walled garden.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

kwan_e,

"IT administration is kind of like the janitorial equivalent in the eyes of the corporate types, but it requires a great amount of training and time. The sooner those IT jobs no longer require university degrees, the better."

I'd say that's already the case. When institutions are pumping out so many professional degrees per year, they become requirements for jobs which previously did not require them. Back in the 90's, employers would hire anyone who was able to do IT administration regardless of degrees since most candidates didn't have one. I believe the higher degree requirements today is a result of supply and demand rather than the increasing difficulty of the work. If the supply were to increase substantially as you predict, then won't most employers just add more requirements to filter them out?


The old way of doing things are going to die out as young people start going off and do their own companies, which is also happening. There's been a few voices of late that have said university degrees are useless, so we can see the potential zeitgeist of the next 20 years.

It's completely ridiculous to try and make predictions based on short term trends, as TM99 thinks. Short term predictions are harder to make than long term, just like how weather is harder to predict than climate.

"Yes, most apps are of poor quality, but it doesn't matter. The opportunity and market is now there, and no matter how many restrictions are put in place, you can't deny that programming itself is being opened up."

I donno, it's still an incredibly ironic example to me, I'd have picked the raspberry pi or it's ilk since it doesn't run a walled garden.


I think they're apt examples precisely because they're counter-intuitive. That's basically been the history of computing since it started. Every naysayer has basically been wrong about where the next development comes from.

I picked them as examples because they have staying power, and that to me seems to be the most important factor. Culture doesn't work on logic or rationality, but on durable popularity. Unfortunate but unavoidable.

I have hope of raspberry pi but it is just not in the position for it to make any predictions on how it will fair.

Reply Parent Score: 3