“All of us depend on technology, but none of us know how to read or write code”
Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas
This video from code.org implies an interesting question, “Will it be as important in the future to read code as it is to be able to read now?” As discussed, whether you’re in manufacturing, agriculture or almost any other industry, information technology is causing major change. If you’re literate in the language of machines, you’ll be able to speak the language of the innovators in your field.
If you’ll already know, in the world of OSS the coders know how to code but often don’t know much about a network operator’s needs. Similarly a network operator doesn’t necessarily know how to break situations down into the language that a coder understands. The linchpins in an OSS organisation are able to make connections across these two worlds.
If you’re developing an OSS, all your team members (network experts, business analysts, trainers, data migrators, developers, even managers) need to go cross-domain into the expertise of their other team members, so everyone needs to be speaking a common language. Generally it all comes down to logic, so the common denominator is computer code, even if it’s a high-level language.
Is code literacy part of your team’s basic training?
As Gabe Newell of Valve states in the movie, “the programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future.” Do you want everyone on your OSS team to look like they have magic powers compared with everybody else?
I also love this quote from Kevin Kelly:
The key premise of this book [Ed: New Rules for the New Economy] is that the principles governing the world of the soft—the world of intangibles, of media, of software, and of services—will soon command the world of the hard—the world of reality, of atoms, of objects, of steel and oil, and the hard work done by the sweat of brows. Iron and lumber will obey the laws of software, automobiles will follow the rules of networks, smokestacks will comply with the decrees of knowledge. If you want to envision where the future of your industry will be, imagine it as a business built entirely around the soft, even if at this point you see it based in the hard.
Of course, all the mouse clicks in the world can’t move atoms in real space without tapping real energy, so there are limits to how far the soft will infi ltrate the hard. But the evidence everywhere indicates that the hard world is irreversibly softening. Therefore one can gain a huge advantage simply by riding this conversion. To stay ahead, you chiefly need to understand how the soft world works“