Neon Knights

Posted on 5th March 2008

Following on from my previous post, I had two conversations recently where we got onto subjects relating to the demise of technophobia. In one instance I was discussing protection against viruses and malware, while the other was to do with just generally understanding how computers work and using them to your advantage. In both cases, I considered how DanDan (and Ethne to a degree) had reacted to getting his own laptop for Christmas. In 10 (maybe more) years time he will be looking for a job. By then if you don't have a decent level of computer understanding, you are going to find it very difficult to get a job, as computers and technology are becoming ever more prevalent in just about every industry, even where you might not think it.

Children growing up today, certainly in the UK, are being exposed to computer technology in most (if not all) primary schools. With desktop and laptop computers getting cheaper, more are getting them to help them with their homework, to play games or to send messages to friends and family. Those that do have a slightly more technically inquisitive nature are likely to want to do more and either write software to do cool stuff, or figure out how to get the machine to work even better. It's how I got started, although not until I was 15.

In 10 years or less the way we see the world, particularly through the eyes of our children, is going to be very different than it is today. My dad has no trouble working his way around a circuit board, and worked for Lyons computers (later ICL), on their LEO III among other things, whereas I have only basic knowledge of hardware. I have a good grasp of software design (and hopefully user interface design), and have been very fortunate to work on some very worthwhile projects, whereas my dad has no knowledge of any programming language. I wonder what DanDan and Ethne will be able to do in 20-30 years time, and what they will be able to do far better at than me? I'm quite looking forward to seeing them flourish, as I have been with some of my current colleagues, who often leaving me wishing I had their vision at the command line.

The world is changing, and I, for one, welcome our new 7 year old future overlords ;)

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