Good morning, look at the valedictorian scared of the future while I hop in the DeLorean - Kanye West
Today we take reading and writing for granted, it is impossible to imagine a world where instructions cannot be written down. A world where you cannot pass that secret note to your friend in class or a world where words just don't exist. "Like how did they live?" that was a question a friend asked me in college when he realized our parents did not have access to the Wikipedia when they were our age. 10,000 years ago is the earliest record we have of humans writing, which is an insignificant amount of time in the history of our species. For thousands of years after that, writing was was still done only by scribes, people who dedicated their life to writing and documenting. As time passed, writing became a requirement in society, it was clear the world would be a better place if everyone could do this. We can now communicate without knowing each other, without ever even knowing the person you are talking to or even knowing the person that is talking to you. To think that today I can tell over a billion people with an internet connected device that I ate some fried chicken and watermelon for lunch just blows my mind.
I feel programming on a computer is the way writing was a long time ago only that things are moving much faster now. Not long ago, computers where these large machines used in universities for calculations, they were academic. Then it went into buisnesses and then with the rise of personal computing it got into homes. Fast forward to today and hundreds of millions of people have it in their pocket. But today like the old days, we are still waiting for the
scribes Software Engineers to release the new angry birds or fix that bug in Excel.We have the machines in our pocket why don't we just write our own!
Computer programming is the process of talking to a machine, giving an otherwise inanimate object instructions on how to accomplish a task for you. Sometimes that is making a website that holds pictures of cats and sometimes that is controlling a robot on Mars. What I am saying is that it is never a bad idea or too late to learn to code. When I tell people this, some of them balk and say "It is not my thing", to me this is like saying the ability to write is not your thing. We are in the information age and the machines have our information, so you better start learning to talk to them. The same way it is easy for you to spin up a blog or write a tweet to document your thoughts, something only scribes were able to do. It should be easy for you to give very specific instructions to a machine. Literacy is contextual, the bar is always moving as society advances and I just got back in the DeLorean and thats the message I have for you. For the technically challenged, do not fear the future, programming languages will get simpler and more intuitive as time passes. If you have ever thought about learning to code, go DO IT! If you have not, the next time you have the chance to learn something about how machines work or how to talk to them DO IT! This is not some exclusive knowledge for the "computer people", this should be basic knowledge of living in the 21st century.
I found this video after writing this post, coding eloquently explained: