Programming literacy in the future?
I’ve been doing some thinking about writing and computer programming. Many centuries ago, writing was only those educated in it. It was seen as something that had no practical use beyond the recording of… well… records. It wasn’t something that ordinary people had to learn as knowing all of these little scribbles on paper (or vellum. or whatever) was not really something that had practical value. As long as someone could work hard and take orders, he was set. Now though, it’s rather different.
Today, you cannot get by without knowing how to read and write. It’s impossible to get along in life without knowledge of letters. People will say, “It’s as basic as reading, how can you not know that?” or “As long as you know how to read, you’ll do fine.” both of which are good examples of how important literacy is today. Today, more than an art-form, more than just something utilitarian, literacy has become a basic need of life.
By contrast, today, computer programming is something that fits more closely with the traditional role of writing centuries ago. No one really needs to know how computers work, leave that to the techs that operate behind the scenes. I believe however, that that will be something that will change in the future. No, I sincerely doubt that anyone of us here now will see it in our lifetime. In the future I foresee that being able to poke around the innards of a computer and its software will be just as important as the ABCs of today.
Perhaps I’m a bit too entrenched in cyberpunk and whatnot, and my programming background may have influenced this opinion somewhat, but considering the rapid pace of technology today, I believe such a future is not entirely far-fetched. True, the world won’t be composed of a bunch of super-hackers, and I doubt that everyone or even anyone will be able to work their way into the Pentagon. But by that same note, the world is not currently filled with Shakespeares though everyone can write.
I see the future then that everyone will know how to program a computer, sure, easy enough. I also see that perhaps learning how to program will be a necessity and not just an esoteric art. Perhaps the cult of the hacker will have disappeared by then, or have just become even more mysterious and complicated. Who knows? It’s sad that I won’t be around to see it, but it sure does make for interesting thinking.